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News Archive - 2007 – Newer at top                     Go to current news ...

New report says traffic congestion costing greater Bristol area £350m a year

13 Oct 2007: A new report “Our Transport Future” from the West of England Partnership says traffic congestion costs £350m a year in the area. They pledge to work together for a slice of Government money next spring. Elfan ap Rees said “Our priorities in North Somerset include a Portishead rail link.” See Evening Post article 13 Oct 2007. See also Transport Plans page including link to report.

Prime Minister petitioned on-line to reinstate rail link

29 Sept 2007: Chairman Alan Matthews urges local residents to sign the new on-line petition. See Evening Post article 29 Sept.

13 Sept 2007: A new online petition to the Prime Minister has been launched to reinstate the Portishead line. See Clevedon Mercury article 13 Sept 2007. Details of petition....

Traffic jams increased more quickly in North Somerset

13 Sept 2007: A report released by pressure group “Campaign for Better Transport” shows that North Somerset traffic grew by 25% between 1995 and 2005, the seventh biggest growth in the country. See Clevedon Mercury article 13 Sept 2007.

Fears that West will lose out on Government £10bn

28 July 2007: New Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly has unveiled a White Paper pledging £10 billion to be spent on the network over the next seven years. West MPs and lobby groups fear the West will yet again be forgotten. See Western Daily Press article 28 July 2007.

Unified Transport Authority wins council backing

27 July 2007: Bristol City Council have backed a unified transport authority to control and improve road and rail networks in Bristol. A full meeting of BCC agreed to support and push forward with the new strategic transport authority (STA), which will involve the four councils of the former Avon area. Neighbouring councils have yet to back the STA in a vote. See Evening Post article 25 July 2007.

Portishead Railway reopening raised in Parliament

July 2007: Stephen Williams, Bristol West MP, mentioned the Portishead railway in a House of Commons debate. See extract

Local Election results - changes in Transport chiefs

May 2007: Local election results have caused changes in key transport officials in both North Somerset & Bristol Councils. See councils’ web sites on Links page, or see updated addresses page for contact details.

Tory call to protect old railways

26 April 2007: Disused railway lines should be protected from property developers in case they are needed for future transport routes, the Tories have said. See BBC News web site article 26 April 2007

Network Rail think passenger trains run through Pill

6 April 2007: Network Rail has felled trees alongside the redundant railway station in Pill. Network Rail said it had to provide a safe and reliable railway for passengers. But parish council chairman said this was "laughable" because passenger services stopped running in the 1960s. See Evening Post article 6 April 2007.

Meeting with Under Secretary of State for Transport

Mar 2007: Alistair Lindsay, a member of this Group, handed a copy of the proposed phased opening of the Portishead Line (see below 25 Jan 07) to the Under Sec. of State for Transport Tom Harris MP, during his visit to Exeter. See photo

Government Road Pricing threat to rail schemes

20 Feb 2007: The Department for Transport has established a £1.4 billion fund for investment in local transport but has told councils that any bid for a share of the money must include congestion charging. See The Times article 20 Feb 2007.

Portishead line in Evening Post magazine feature

17 Feb 2007: PRG Chairman Alan Matthews talks about the problems and the reopening prospects in a feature article in ‘Seven’ magazine local railway special. See Evening Post Seven magazine article 17 Feb 2007.

Property expert says showcase bus plans won’t work

17 Feb 2007: A Bristol property expert says that the £42 million to be spent on showcase bus routes would be better spent on a ‘multi-level’ solution including reopening the Portishead line. See Evening Post article 17 Feb 2007.

Phased re-opening proposal for Portishead line

25 Jan 2007: A proposal to re-open the line in stages has been proposed by Alistair Lindsay, Labour Party Transport Co-ordinator. The first phase would run to Ashton Gate. See Clevedon Mercury article 25 Jan 2007.

Severn beach line to get funding for half-hourly service

26 Jan 2007: Bristol city Council are to re-instate funding to allow a half hourly service to be re-established from Dec 2007. See Evening Post article 26 Jan 2007.

Tony Blair hints at major public transport overhaul

25 Jan 2007: The Prime Minister hints at the possibility of a radical overhaul of public transport in Bristol. The greater Bristol area could get a Passenger Transport Executive giving more local control. See Evening Post article 25 Jan 07.

‘Growing the Railways’ launch meeting

20 Jan 2007: A meeting called by Transport 2000 to launch their new campaign included a call from Kerry McCarthy, MP for East Bristol for the Portishead line to be reopened. See Evening Post article 20 Jan 07.

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