News Archive 2012 – Newer at top Go to current news ...
Preparatory spend on Greater Bristol Metro agreed
13 December 2012: Transport leaders who represent the four councils in the former Avon area agreed at their meeting yesterday to go ahead with £7 million preparatory works on the Metro scheme which includes the Portishead line. See Bristol Post article 31 Dec 2012.
New Greater Western Franchise
8 October 2012: Problems with the the West Coast rail franchise have caused the Department for Transport to halt the bidding process for the new Greater Western Franchise, which could delay the Portishead line reopening. See Bristol Post article 4 October 2012.
Free Rail Trips
29 September 2012: First Great Western ran free rail trips along the Bristol to Royal Portbury Docks line on Sat 29 Sept as part of the Community Rail Festival 2012. Details inc photos. ….
New Greater Western Franchise
27 July 2012: The Department for Transport has invited tenders for a new Greater Western Franchise to replace the current one held by First Great Western. The new specification includes provision for the Bristol Metro Phase 1 which includes the Portishead line. Bids have to be in by 25 October 2012. The winning bidder will be chosen in March 2013. The new franchise will start on 21 July 2013 and run until 2028. See GW Franchise and Bristol Post article 30 July 2012.
£100 million secured for Greater Bristol Metro
6 July 2012: A £1 Billion City Deal for Bristol announced yesterday may pay for the £100 Million Greater Bristol Metro project including the Portishead railway. See Bristol Post article 5 and 6 July 2012 and Greater Bristol Metro website. However, there are strings and the BBC reports that the West of England Partnership must come up with a ‘strong transport board’ before any money is granted for schemes like the reopening of the Portishead railway. See BBC News website. See also Cabinet Office document.
2 July 2012: Portishead Railway Group were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the sudden death of Chris Radmore, who had been a dedicated member of the committee for many years. Chairman Alan Matthews said ‘the effect has been one of disbelief and sadness that after all his efforts and commitment he will not be able to stand on the station on the opening day. I am sure he will be there in spirit.’
£100m City rail bid
June 22 2012: A bid for £100 million of government funding has been submitted to the Dept for Transport by the West of England Partnership for its Greater Bristol Metro project. The first phase of the proposal includes the reopening of the Portishead line. See Bristol Post article 22 June 2012.
Schoolboy’s new video to help railway campaign.
June 2012: Portishead schoolboy, seven year old James, has made a six-minute film about the Portishead railway explaining why the town needs a railway again. See Videos page. See also North Somerset Times 6 June 2012 page 24, and iwitness24 .
2012 petition from Greater Bristol Metro project
May 2012: A petition to Government about the Greater Bristol Metro project and the new Greater Western Franchise included the Portishead line. Closing date was 27 May 2012.
New Mural unveiled at site of future Portishead Station.
28 April 2012: Liam Fox, MP, unveiled a new mural at the site of the future Portishead railway station. More ....
North Somerset Council Leader positive about reopening
April 2012: NSC Leader Nigel Ashton said in his forward to the Life magazine that “The re-opening of Portishead rail line is a step closer as North Somerset Council has secured agreement of its rail priorities from colleagues in the West of England. The Joint Transport Executive Committee agreed for the Portishead rail line to be taken forward as part of the Greater Bristol Metro. Phase 1 will now include the reopening of Portishead Rail line operating half-hourly during peak times of the day, running between Severn Beach line and Temple Meads. ... We are currently in discussions with the Department for Transport on the funding for the scheme but it is hoped that trains could be operating on the Portishead line as early as 2017.” See North Somerset Life April 2012 page 2 (PDF 2.25 Mb)
New Greater Western Franchise contenders announced.
29 March 2012: The Department for Transport have announced the firms bidding for the new franchise are: First Great Western, Arriva, National Express, and Stagecoach. See also Franchise page.
New Greater Bristol Metro rail campaign
23 February 2012: A new campaign has been launched to call for better local rail services across the whole greater Bristol region. See Evening Post article 23 Feb 2012 and new Greater Bristol Metro website.
Bristol City Council launch Bristol Metro 2013 campaign
18 January 2012: The authority has launched the Bristol Metro 2013 campaign to fight for a half-hourly local train service at all existing local stations and any new potential new ones such as Portishead. See Evening Post article 18 Jan 2012.