Plans for the re-opening of the Portishead railway line, as part of the first phase of the MetroWest transport project, are now open for public consultation - a major step forward for Railfuture campaigning.
The proposals include a new Portishead railway station (pictured above) at Quays Avenue and the re-opening of Pill station.
Several sites in Portishead were considered before North Somerset council settled on the Harbour Road and Quays Avenue junction, after the Office of Rail Regulation ruled it would not accept a level crossing at Quays Avenue. This was "the most popular option" from the public consultation carried out in 2014. The council hopes reopening the line will provide another route into Bristol, as well as attract more investment into the town.
MetroWest phase one also involves bringing back into use five kilometres of railway between Portishead and Pill as well as upgrading the current Portbury freight line. A planning application will be submitted in spring 2016 with the aim of completing construction in early 2019 and starting train services in spring 2019.
The consultation will run for six weeks, from 22 June to 3 August. Somerset Hall in Portishead will hold exhibitions on July 6 and 8 from 2-7.30pm. The public display will then be at Pill’s community centre from 2-7.30pm on July 10. You can respond to the consultation at http://travelwest.info/projects/metrowest.
Nigel Ashton, leader of North Somerset Council, said: "The project is now at an advanced stage, with detailed designs being developed for inclusion in a planning application early next year. We are now asking for people's views on a range of detailed proposals including station layouts, parking provision, highway changes and how we address environmental impacts."
Cllr Brian Allinson, chairman of the joint transport board and South Gloucestershire lead member for transport, added: "Re-opening the Portishead branch line is part of a wider £100m in investment in local rail projects by the West of England councils."
Cllr Mark Bradshaw, Bristol’s assistant mayor, said: “This is an exciting project for Greater Bristol. It’ll make a huge difference for people wanting to use existing and new train services with benefits for rail freight too.”
MetroWest is a joint project by Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils.
Railfuture campaign for MetroWest