Better Capacity

Crowds at Bristol Temple Meads
Crowds at Bristol Temple Meads

FoSBR calls for greater capacity to cope with passenger growth, including:

  • Remodelling of Bristol East Junction;
  • Improved capacity at Westerleigh Junction ;
  • Signalling and track work enhancements to allow more trains from the south to terminate at Bristol Parkway;
  • Electrification from Chippenham to Bristol Temple Meads, Temple Meads to Parkway, and local services.

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) gathers annual statistics providing passenger journeys data for each region of Great Britain, including journeys between regions and journeys within regions. The South West region (defined in this context as Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Bristol & Bath, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire) has shown consistently strong growth, with a tailing off between 2017 & 2018 likely due to the disruption and cancellations caused by major engineering works across the region.

For instance, between 2007-2008 and 2017-2018, total journeys increased by 29%, inter-region journeys growing by 20% and intra-region journeys growing by 38%. 

Total number of passenger journeys (thousands)

South West Region
Annual data
(financial year)
1997-982007-082016-172018-19% change
to 2017-18
To/from other region14,28920,64525,83025,81820.0
Within region10,04516,38426,60226,37537.9
Total Journeys24,33537,02952,43252,19329.1

Source: Office of Rail and Road

Graphs of passenger numbers at local & regional stations can be found on our Passenger Growth page.

Better train services are not just about more trains and stations. Infrastructure needs modernisation of track, traction power, signalling and junctions. This is essential to increasing capacity and also improving reliability.