PETITION lobbying Bristol City Council to support the reopening of the railway line which links the city to Portishead has been handed over
with more than 1,500 signatures. Concerned residents living in and around
Portishead have put their names to the petition which
was started by the Portishead Heritage Rail Project in January.
July 12 the group, which aims to raise awareness of the need for the line,presented the document, which
called for Bristol City Council to seek the reopening of the railway as a
matter of urgency, to senior Bristol
councillor Helen Holland. A copy was also given to Portishead and North Weston
Town Council at its monthly meeting for the chairman,
Jean Lord, to take to North Somerset Council.
A spokesman for the rail project said: "Fighting for the
railway line is a very strong campaign, a campaign which is pure common sense.
Reopening the line will benefit the economy, the local people and tourism in
the area. We are demonstrating how many people feel so strongly about
Portishead to Bristol railway line
first opened in 1867 with stations at Clifton
Bridge, Pill, Portbury
and Portishead. The track operated as a passenger line with the station near
the site of the new Portishead Primary
School. In 1953 this
station was demolished and a new one built near the High Street on land now
used by Waitrose. The railway brought essentials like coal and oil to the
dockside industries. It carried away timber from the dock, phosphoric acid from
the chemical plant and horseshoe nails from a nearby factory. It provided a
vital link to Bristol for company
directors, workers and schoolchildren.
a review carried out by Beeching in the 1960s found
there was no longer a need for the line. On September 7 1964 passenger
services ceased. Freight continued to run but was also
stopped in 1981. Members of the Portishead Rail Heritage Project are
pictured in their campaign T shirts with the petition
handed to Bristol City Council.