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News Archive 2013   …. Newer at top                                         Go to current news ...




Portishead Railway Group new Opinion Survey launched

November 2013: Portishead Railway Group has launched a new Opinion Survey to collect the views of users of this website.


Gold Award for website

2 November 2013: This website was awarded Gold for the best website at the Railfuture 2013 Rail User Group Awards at Railfuture's annual conference in Oxford. Details …      Photo of Award ..


Greater Western Franchise

3 October 2013: The government announced that First Greater Western Ltd will continue running the Greater Western Franchise for 23 months until September 2015. See Government Press Release.


NSC information on Portishead line reopening

20 July 2013 & updated 3 October & December 2013: North Somerset Council have created a page on their website to contain news about the project’s progress. See Portishead Rail Services.


MetroWest official update released

3 July 2013: An official update on the MetroWest project (of which Portishead is in Phase 1) has been released by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership giving up-to-date (delayed) timescales. See MetroWest Briefing Note.


Metro project renamed

24 June 2013: The Greater Bristol Metro project has been renamed MetroWest. See Bristol Post article 25 June 2013.


North Somerset Council update

16 April 2013: North Somerset Council issued a Press Release today, outlining progress on the Portishead line as part of the Greater Bristol Metro (now MetroWest) project. It has been recommended that a total of £1.35m be spent by the four unitary councils over the next 12 months on more detailed preparation work. See full NSC press release and North Somerset Times article 17 April 2013.


Existing Greater Western Franchise extended

26 March 2013: The Government announced a 33 month extension of the existing franchise to July 2016. See BBC News website article and Government Press Release.


Alternative station site options being considered

1 March 2013: North Somerset Council is considering three different locations for the Portishead terminus. 1) Original proposal behind Lidl car park, 2) East of Quays Avenue, 3) North of Moor Farm. Land by Waitrose has been reserved as a station site for many years and this location is PRG’s preferred site. However, given the issues with crossing Quays Avenue, we recognise that option 2 east of Quays Avenue is a valid alternative site. We view option 3 at Moor Farm as unacceptable, for numerous reasons.


Track Clearance started

28 February 2013: Initial track clearance has finally started at Portishead. This will enable work on inspecting the track bed and infrastructure. Photos… See also North Somerset Times article 7 March 2013 and Bristol Post article 12 March 2013.


Greater Western Franchise Competition cancelled

31 January 2013: A Government Press Release announced that the competition for the new franchise, which had been paused, has now been cancelled. The existing franchise will now run until October 2013. Negotiations for an additional two-year contract will commence with FGW, while longer-term proposals will be set out in the spring.


News Release from DR LIAM FOX MP
16 January 2013: Dr Liam Fox, MP for North Somerset, said he was "more upbeat than on any previous time" about the prospect of seeing trains running to Portishead.

Dr Fox attended a meeting with Transport Minister, Simon Burns, and members of the Portishead Railway Group shortly before Christmas and said: "We were all very optimistic following the information that the Minister was able to give us. I hope that we will now see trains running in 2017 and expect that we will get a definitive announcement on dates and funding in Parliament before the summer recess".

Dr Fox expressed his thanks for the support given by the Portishead Railway Group, North Somerset Council and the hundreds of local residents who have given their support. See Bristol Post article 19 Jan 2013.