News – latest at top
There has recently been some widely circulated misinformation regarding the railway reopening. Consequently, PRG has produced the following clarifying statement to provide an accurate picture of current progress for the general public: The Railway is coming! …
Network Rail has appointed VolkerFitzpatrick as the primary contractor for the programme with a £6.14m contract. This will cover the detailed design phase, plus ground and ecology surveys and enabling works. See Network Rail press release.
From Monday 23 January, tree planting will commence on the A369 Portbury Hundred. This is to provide an alternative bat corridor away from the railway by filling in gaps in the trees lining the road between the Sheepway Roundabout and Station Road. See MetroWest latest news …
14 November 2022:
The Secretary of State for Transport has granted development consent and approved the Development Consent Order. See Dept for Transport statement … and Sec. of State letter …
Full documentation on PINS website. BBC News item … PRG Press Release …
26 September 2022:
There are two planning applications for a proposed development of mixed housing on greenbelt land (Longmoor Village): Bristol City Council application 21/03166/P and North Somerset Council application 21/P1679/OUT, which if implemented as currently planned would make a future increase in train frequency to half an hour impossible. PRG is therefore formally objecting to the applications. See PRG statement.
Portishead Railway Group will be having a stand at the WC&P Railway Anniversary Exhibition in Portishead on Sunday 2 October. Come and see us on our stand to discuss the latest situation.
The next step is for the Secretary of State to approve the DCO which is now hoped will happen this year. That would allow work to start on the detailed design – GRIP 5.
27 & 29 July 2022:
North Somerset Council announced that the Department for Transport have committed an additional £15.5m to deliver MetroWest Phase 1b including the Portishead line. See NSC News item. WECA announced that it is investing £10m into the scheme. See WECA news item.
4 July 2022:
North Somerset Council said in a news statement that the council and WECA are each seeking to commit an additional £10m to the project to bridge the funding shortfall and deliver the scheme, and are asking the DfT to close the remaining £15.5m funding gap. See NSC News item.
3 May 2022:
Portishead Railway Group has issued a Press Release giving its opinion on the latest delay to the reopening.
19 April 2022:
The Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, though ‘minded to approve’ the application, has set a new deadline of 19 February 2023 for the decision on this application. The main issue is that the pandemic and rising energy prices have resulted in significant increases to costs, exacerbated by delays caused by DfT. (Full funding was in place in April 2019). The extra funding needs to be in place before the DCO can be approved. See Department of Transport letter (34 pages).