An application to rebuild the disused line between Portishead and Pill has been given the green light by North Somerset Council for works to get underway. This long-awaited return for the line will do wonders for the local communities as passenger services to Bristol and beyond will be reintroduced.
The planning permission and necessary environmental consents have been granted by the approval of a Development Consent Order, following the additional funding agreed in July by the West of England Combined Authority. This approval comes two years after the original application submission, where it has since faced numerous delays.
Preparation works can now commence on the £152m project before the current planned construction date of 2024. This project will see the delivery of a refurbished 5.5km stretch of track reinstated, accompanied by a car and bus interchange built in Portishead.
CLLR Steve Bridger, North Somerset Council Leader sad:
“As a scheme of vital importance, North Somerset Council and West of England Combined Authority are committed to continuing the work needed to finally make Portishead rail a reality, rising to tackle national challenges where necessary, with an aim of starting construction in 2024.”
This news comes following an agreement this summer, made between the combined authority, council and the Department for Transport to further fund the project with a pledge of £36m, after the projects anticipated costs rose.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris, West of England Combined Authority Leader said:
“The last time you could catch a train along this line was before a man walked on the moon and the Beatles were taking America by storm. So, I’m pleased to have passed another important milestone. This is a project long in the making and undoubted there will be more bumps in the road. However, this important thumbs up keeps us firmly on the right track and means the hard work of physically bringing this rail line back to life can begin. This is a really important project that will see communities in south Bristol and across our city reconnected to Portishead and help in our vital quest for net-zero.”
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