News Archive 2010 – Newer at top Go to current news ...
GRIP 3 Report issued
18 October 2010: North Somerset Council have announced that the GRIP 3 report has been published. This is an important milestone in the progress towards reopening. See North Somerset Council article and North Somerset Times Article 18 Oct 2010. Also Evening Post article 19 Oct 2010.
Special rail trip down Portishead branch
See also article in North Somerset Times 29 Sept 2010.
Railway prospects hit by Government cuts
9 July 2010: Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has told North Somerset MP Liam Fox there is no money to pay for the railway reopening. In a letter to Dr Fox, Mr Hammond says: "Whilst we support improvements to regional and local rail services, the Government's key priority at present is to tackle the budget deficit.
Alan Matthews, chairman of PRG, said he was disappointed but not surprised. He said PRG would be pressing for the paperwork to be completed so that when money became available, a start could be made without delay. He said the paperwork alone could take two years to complete. "If we get everything ready, then at least we could start straightaway," he said. See Evening Post article 9 July 2010.
Local MP becomes Cabinet Minister
May 2010: Dr Liam Fox, MP for North Somerset is now Defence Secretary. Dr Fox has consistently supported the reopening of the Portishead railway. His election literature said “It is disgraceful that we still don’t have the Portishead rail link that Liam has consistently campaigned for. Despite tremendous local support we have been badly let down”. Now that he is in a position of power, we hope to see some real progress. (to write to Dr Fox, see contact details)
New Supermarket/ Hotel planning application - PRG objects
12 March 2010: A new planning application for a Lidl store and hotel incorporates the car park designated as the station car park at Portishead and already built, into its parking area. Alan Matthews has formally objected on behalf of PRG. The objection is not against the store and hotel per se but against the moving of the current Station/Park & Ride car park into the demise of the Lidl/Hotel car park. Portishead Town Council has recommended the application be refused. Details of planning application.
See also Evening Post article 12 March 2010.
Cost to re-open line could increase by £millions
12 February 2010: Network Rail say that the current line is only suitable for freight working and to re-open for passenger use could cost up to £10 million. See Evening Post article 12 Feb 2010.
Bendy buses could run on old rail link
13 January 2010: North Somerset Council are considering using Bendy buses running along the old track bed instead of rail. Portishead Railway Group and the Greater Bristol Transport Alliance are opposed to this, as is the Evening Post which comments: “It beggars belief that anyone with a scrap of intelligence could think this is a good idea. Bendy buses are a poor man’s tram system with none of the benefits”. These buses would have to negotiate the narrow and twisty A369 and Rownham Hill. See Evening Post article 13 January 2010.
Campaign for an Integrated Transport Authority
January 2010: Transport for Greater Bristol Alliance is running a campaign for the establishment of an Integrated Transport Authority and the bringing forward of the Portishead railway reopening project. We fully support this campaign and urge everyone to support it. PRG is mailing a card to supporters to be sent to their councils. Alternatively see TfGBA website.