Rail improvements take a long time. Typically they can take decades from conception to realisation. Here are timelines for some of the projects in our area.
MetroWest is a West of England Combined Authority and North Somerset project to improve rail transport services in Bristol and its surrounding area. It includes the construction of new rail lines, reopening of old lines, and the development of stations and train services for the West of England area.
MetroWest is being delivered in a staged approach:
- Phase 1a: provide half-hourly services on the Severn Beach Line and to Bath Spa;
- Phase 1b: provide an hourly passenger service on the re-opened Portishead Line;
- Phase 2: provide half-hourly train services to Yate and hourly services on a reopened Henbury Line.
See MetroWest Timeline.
This is now part of MetroWest Phase 1 and has reached Development Consent Order stage. It could reopen in 2023, after more than 20 years of campaigning.
See Portishead Timeline.
The line to Henbury forms part of MetroWest Phase 2. This service could continue to Avonmouth (the ‘Henbury Loop’ service) or, as currently planned, terminate at Henbury (the ‘Henbury Spur’).
See Henbury Timeline.
The location of the proposed Bristol Arena is important from our perspective because it is hoped that many people will attend events by public transport. Plans to build the Arena by Temple Meads Station have now been cancelled, but the new possible location at Filton would be close to the Henbury line, and could be rail-served.
Electrification has been an aspiration in Britain since the 1950s. Other European countries have rolling programmes and have managed to progressively electrify their lines at a fraction of the cost, but here in Britain we operate a ‘feast and famine’ cycle where massive investments are followed by overspends and cancellation. The Great Western electrification has followed this pattern.
Bristol East Junction
This crucial junction controls access to Bristol Temple Meads Station for trains to and from London, Wales and the North. It no longer has sufficient capacity for the number of trains using these routes, and restricts access to platforms.
Thornbury suffers from gridlock when accidents or breakdowns occur on the Thornbury “ring road”, the A38 or M4/M5 junction. Thornbury residents continue to press for a re-instatement of the Thornbury Branch line from Thornbury to Yate and then services beyond.
See Thornbury Timeline.
Ever since the 2002 opening of Portway Park & Ride with bus services to the city centre, there have been plans to open a railway station on the adjacent Severn Beach Line.