HS2

26.07.18

Support for Portishead Line reopening remains high after survey

A consultation on support for reopening the Portishead Line has highlighted support for the move.

The survey, which received over 1,000 responses, found that 95% of respondents supported the scheme known as MetroWest Phase One.

As the railway line is a national significant infrastructure project (NSIP), and because it entails railway works of over 2km and is outside Network Rail’s existing operational railway network, North Somerset Council must submit an application for planning consent, known as a development consent order (DCO) to the government.

To submit a DCO, wide consultation with the local community, statutory bodies, landowners, and other interested parties must have been completed.

The publication of the document marks the final consultation stage in the scheme’s development process and is a significant step towards the submission of the DCO application later this year.

North Somerset Council is assessing funding options for the £116m scheme which included an expression of interest to the DfT’s Transforming Cities Fund. The expression was made in conjunction with Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Councils in collaboration with the West of England Combined Authority.

Chris Grayling, has also expressed his support for the scheme, describing it as “a key priority for him.”

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s executive member with responsibility for transport, said government ministers recognise that this is a “nationally significant project” that will benefit the West of England as whole.

He added: “We are grateful to everyone who took the time to make their views known which helped develop the scheme. This consultation exercise will form a key part of our application to the government for a development consent order later this year pending a funding decision which we are confident we will get.

“Portishead rail is still firmly on track.”

The consultation report can be viewed at www.travelwest.info/metrowest

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