MetroWest

MetroWest is a project to improve rail services in and around Bristol. It includes opening new lines for passenger service, and several new stations.

The project is supported by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA), which incorporates Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North-East Somerset.

2008

Greater Bristol Metro project is proposed at First Great Western’s stakeholder event.

2012

A report by Halcrow Group outlines a £22 million scheme to reopen local lines.

2015

The Scheme is rebranded as MetroWest. Options for various routes are considered, along with electrification and tram-train technology. A report by Arup estimates cost of an electrified network at £175 million.

2016

North Somerset Council buys land for Pill and Portishead stations

2017

MetroWest is split into phases:

  • Phase 1 – Portishead Line, and Severn Beach to Bath Spa
  • Phase 2 – Henbury Line, and half-hourly services from Weston super Mare to Yate

£2.23 million is allocated for building of a new station at Portway Park and Ride.

March 2019

Portway Parkway station gains planning permission.

June 2019

WECA approves the MetroWest Phase 2 Outline Business Case and awards £3.5 million to develop the full business case for a half-hourly service to Yate (via Westerleigh Junction) and an hourly service for a reopened Henbury line

This is a £54.2 million project with £36.5 million sought through the devolved 10-year allocation of major schemes funding which was awarded through the City Deal. A total of £11.1 million is also being requested from the Investment Fund. This is WECA’s main £30 million-a-year funding for 30 years, of which £3.5 million will develop the full business case. Some tweaks will be required to the final scheme to increase the benefit-to-cost ratio to the required threshold.

This part of MetroWest alone is forecast to create almost 350,000 new train journeys in 2021 and bring an additional 50,000 people within the immediate catchment of the rail network.