BLOW FOR RAIL LINK HOPE
By Andrew White
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to get the
hopes for the line, which is still intact although overgrown, were raised in 2001 with the opening of a freight line
Joint Local Transport Plan (LTP) is being jointly developed by
Draft proposals were submitted to the Government at the end of last month outlining proposals for improved bus, rail and some road improvements. This included a long-term proposal to reinstate the disused Portishead line to meet demand generated from the building of 4,000 new homes. The proposal is one of a number of hoped-for new initiatives to make better used of the region’s rail network as a means of easing congestion on its roads. Although the LTP states that the reinstatement of the Portishead line would not come before 2011, it said it remained an option providing government funding was available.
But at the same time, Mr Burden, who lives in Portishead, felt the Department for Transport did not favour railways in general. He said: “The Department for Transport just does not believe in heavy rail use – but the campaign goes on.” Mr Burden said the recent major house building in Portishead had seen the town’s population rise to more than 20,000. “There has been a phenomenal growth rate and it was all done on the assumption that there would be public transport expenditure. One of those things was the railway line. “We all thought that once £17 million went into getting the line to the port, that getting the extra for the rest of the line would be straightforward- but it’s getting harder.”
Burden added that the four unitary authorities in the former