schematic rail map showing thornbury branch line

Thornbury: Luke Hall responds

In February 2020, FoSBR member and Thornbury resident Chris P wrote to local MP Luke Hall. Chris wanted to know what Luke was doing to help improve sustainable transport for Thornbury. In particular he was interested in improved local train services, including the possible reopening of the Thornbury railway line.

Luke Hall responds:

Dear Chris,

Once again, my apologies for the delay in responding to your email. I really appreciate you taking the time to get in touch about this important local issue.

First and foremost, I completely agree that maintaining a focus on our local railways and train services must be a priority, and am very pleased that here in South Gloucestershire we are continuing to make progress on key projects like the reopening of stations such as Charfield, and the plans to install half hourly services between Bristol and Yate.

You will no doubt be aware that the Prime Minister recently confirmed the Bristol East Junction is to receive further investment. This will allow important upgrades to take place, which in turn will have benefits for services and future connections here in South Gloucestershire:

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-east-junction-vital-upgrade-3835918
https://www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/our-routes/western/great-western-mainline/city-of-bristol

Regarding the Thornbury Railway Line, this is something I am continuing to explore with the relevant agencies, and as you know am in regular contact with the Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways on this issue. I recently asked Network Rail if they would meet with local members in the group to discuss this project in further detail and currently await a response.

In terms of transport improvements for Thornbury, and the Thornbury Neighbourhood Plan, I am currently leading the campaign for an A38 investment package which will enhance the public transport and infrastructure, as well as parking provision, in and around the town. I will be sure to keep the community updated with what this will entail.

Hopefully you received my Thornbury Infrastructure Survey last year, which asked residents for their thoughts and views of key issues in the town. I can tell you that a Thornbury Railway was a popular suggestion, and as our local MP I am again continuing to discuss at a political level.

I hope that the reopening of the Thornbury Railway Line will be something which is properly assessed and considered. I will be sure to keep the community updated on this specific subject.

If you have any questions, and if there is anything I can do to be of further assistance as our local MP, then please do let me know.

With my very best wishes,

Luke

The Thornbury Neighbourhood plan has just been released for consultation. We are pleased to see that this appears to support maintaining or at least protecting the railway corridor and trackbed, with the potential for rail returning to Thornbury at some point in the future. However it stops short of safeguarding a potential site for a station. This is key as development may push any future station to the edge of town.

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