New signage appeared at Parson Street in November 2019 to illustrate the route from Parson Street to Ashton Gate Stadium for football and rugby fans. As the sign informs, the walk takes only 18 minutes. Friends of Parson Street Railway Station (FoPSRS) have been instrumental in working with Bristol Sport to promote Parson Street as a “gateway” station.
FoPSRS was formed in January 2017 to lobby for improvements to facilities and services at Parson Street station and has achieved a great deal in a short time through working effectively with GWR’s Customer and Communities Improvement Fund, Severnside Community Rail Partnership and a team of volunteers.
Other station improvements that have been completed include:
- stair painting
- yellow lines at platform edge
- vegetation removal at end of platform
- heritage wall
- live Customer Information System unit
- better lighting
- new, well-maintained flower beds
- re-decoration of Bartletts Road Bridge
- additional services during special events at Ashton Gate
- 90th birthday party (for the station!)
Parson Street station facilities were spartan but FoPSRS have made a big difference and have further ambitious plans relating to improved access, platform shelters, and improved evening/weekend services.
This Bristol suburban station has seen a dramatic increase in usage from under 4,000 journeys in 2002/03 to over 145,000 in 2016/17. There is further potential for growth as Ashton Gate Stadium has increased to 27,000 capacity for football and rugby matches. Parson Street is also an interchange to the MetroBus M1 route.
Currently Parson Street station is only served by local stopping trains between Bristol Parkway and Weston-super-Mare and some of the Cardiff to Taunton services. Passengers of other services from the Midlands, London or the South West have to change at Weston-super-Mare or Bristol Temple Meads.
In an ideal world, there would obviously also be a stop for Ashton Gate nearer the stadium on the re-opened Portishead line (2023 possibly?!) but Parson Street will also benefit from increased service frequency when the Portishead line does eventually open.
Follow “Friends of Parson Street Railway Station” on Facebook to get involved with their campaigns.