Latest Rail News

17.07.15

MetroWest set to scrap Henbury Loop in favour of cheaper spur

The councils leading the MetroWest project are expected to drop the idea of the ‘Henbury Loop’ because of its “very high financial risk” and are recommending a simple spur to Henbury instead.

Transport leaders from the four councils making up the West of England joint transport board are meeting today to discuss the recommendation.

The Friends of Surburban Bristol Railways (FOSBR) accused the local authorities of a “lack of ambition” in ditching the Loop from Henbury to Avonmouth and Severnside.

MetroWest map

A detailed report explains the reasoning behind the decision, arguing that the Loop options also have “high levels of performance risk and also require significant platform capacity at Temple Meads”, whereas the Spur options would “prove to be less of a constraint in capacity terms (particularly at Bristol Temple Meads)’, [and] can operate in isolation with a far smaller performance risk (than the Loop).”

Although the Loop would generate an extra 8,000 passengers a year, it would cost nearly twice as much as the £60m Spur option (once longer-term revenue support is taken into account), which has a much better cost-benefit ratio – above 2.0, the threshold for Local Growth Fund money.

metrowest pass

(Option A Yate refers to a half-hourly service to/from Yate, extending existing services that terminate at Parkway to Yate; Option B Glos refers to half-hourly service to/from Yate, extending existing services that terminate at Parkway to Yate, Cam & Dursley and Gloucester)

The report says: “The Phase 2 Henbury Spur option can be built so that it could be converted to a Loop operation in a future, separate phase of the MetroWest programme which, as with all future rail options, will continue to be subject to business case and funding.

“Options based on a Henbury Spur are deliverable and meet the project’s objectives; if Constable Road were to be removed from Phase 2, the project could be delivered within the current budget. Constable Road could be delivered in a future, separate phase of the MetroWest programme once again being subject to value for money tests and funding pressures.”

MetroWest

(WBS refers to wider benefits. Source of all diagrams and maps: West of England LEP Joint Transport Board)

MetroWest Phase 1

Aims: Reopen the Portishead Line, half hourly train services for the Severn Beach Line, more trains serving Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Parson Street and possibly Bedminster subject to further technical work.

Costs: New train services could start operating from May 2019. This is subject to funding and meeting all the regulatory and technical requirements. The indicative capital costs for Phase 1 are expected to be £58.2m.

MetroWest Phase 2

Aims: Half-hourly train services to Yate and hourly services on a reopened Henbury Line with two new stations at North Filton and Henbury. New station at Ashley Down.

Costs: Estimated: £42.3m. We anticipate that Phase 2 would be funded by local councils and from 2021 by the Department for Transport’s devolved major scheme funding with additional funding for development costs from the Local Growth Fund.

Below map, which shows the MetroWest scheme at its fullest and as originally conceived, courtesy Railfuture Severnside:

dl559anddisplayandx=450andy=571

 

Comments

Nickk   17/07/2015 at 14:26

Why not extend the Weston-SM / Parkway service by reversing straight across the "triangle" to Henbury? This would provide a useful feeder to and from the London & Wales trains especially for the many commuters to Filton. Even better if a half-hourly service, carefully timed to make the connections.

Nonsuchmike   17/07/2015 at 17:48

This must be the most pathetic excuse we have heard since somebody said that it was impossible to link up HS1 with HS2. The people of greater Bristol are crying out for the Henbury loop and they should get it. Are those selfish businesses @ Avonmouth fearful of giving up daytime freight slots? Or of having to build bridges for their lorries? Clearly this calls for somebody with sense who can schedule; ask a Deputy Head Teacher and they will say that accommodating virtually everybody takes time, ingenuity and patience. My suggestion would be that only 1/3 of routes have to reverse @ Templemeads. Other services bypass it by looping around St Phillips Marsh and out to Portishead, or travel straight through BTM also to Portishead or Weston. All this in addition to the route to Parkway and Gloucester. Not being a station guru, but concentrating on more rails on the ground, I cannot see why some (but not all) of the proposed new stations should not be postponed until after the loop is complete and a service running.

Lutz   21/07/2015 at 02:37

Hard to see how an extra 8,000 passengers per year can be construed as a substantial demand for the service in a city the size of Bristol. Clearly the loop is not required, and there is not the demand for it.

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

17/04/2019Rail industry launches new interactive accessibly map for UK rail stations

A new interactive map which lets passengers find out about accessibility at stations has been launched by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) to help b... more >
Helium balloons causing ‘increasing number of train delays’ at cost of £1m

17/04/2019Helium balloons causing ‘increasing number of train delays’ at cost of £1m

Helium-filled balloons are causing hundreds of train delays at a cost of £1m in taxpayer money every year, Network Rail has revealed. ... more >
Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

17/04/2019Dawlish sea wall gets council planning approval with construction to begin in May

Plans for an £80m sea wall to protect the Dawlish coastal rail line from extreme weather have been by approved by Teignbridge District Coun... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >
TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >
Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

22/01/2019Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

In the jigsaw puzzle of regional transport decision-making, there must be collaboration and compromise. Midlands Connect media lead James Bovill ... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

08/04/2019West Midlands Rail Executive’s Malcolm Holmes on the 30 year Rail Investment Strategy and working with Midlands Connect

Malcolm Holmes, Chief Executive of the West Midlands Rail Executive, joins us to discuss the 30-year Rail Investment Strategy, and how he and his... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Changing the London skyline with HS2

26/03/2019Changing the London skyline with HS2

Lisa Hogben, HS2 programme delivery manager for area south enabling works, explains how the arrival of HS2’s first tower cranes shows chang... more >
Picking up the pace with high-speed track handovers

26/03/2019Picking up the pace with high-speed track handovers

In 2018 Steve Featherstone, programme director of track at Network Rail, set his team a challenge to secure 100 high-speed track handovers in a y... more >
26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >