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Ashton gate halt and the Portishead rail line (Merged)


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Light in the (ahem) tunnel ?

https://www.insidermedia.com/insider/southwest/116m-bristol-rail-project-poised-to-get-nod-from-cabinet

27 Jun 2018  South West Business

£116m Bristol rail project poised to get nod from cabinet

Bristol Council's cabinet is set to approve the first phase of the MetroWest Rail project, which forms part of ambitious plans to bring 105,000 new homes and 82,500 new jobs to the West of England by 2036.

Approval is being sought from cabinet for a third initial promotion agreement (IPA3), to be signed in conjunction with the other West of England authorities in a meeting on 3 July 2018.

The project forms part of the West of England Joint Spatial plan, which sets out how the new jobs and homes will be delivered up to 2036.

The MetroWest Phase one project will deliver a new rail link between Bristol and Portishead, serving intermediate stations. It will also increase rail service frequencies between Severn Beach and Bath.

The cost of the scheme is estimated to be £116m, up from an initial £58m as previously estimated.

The report to go before cabinet reads: "North Somerset Council has committed to take on all liability for the additional £58m scheme costs, over and above the original £58m scheme cost estimate. Signing the IPA3 will enable the project to continue to be developed without taking on additional liabilities.

"Bristol’s Cabinet endorsed the development of the MetroWest programme (Phases 1 and 2) in January 2013. Since that time the cost profile and delivery model have changed significantly and WECA has been constituted and become a partner in this project.

"Taking this into account and the time that has elapsed it is considered that a new cabinet approval should be sought. Although a clear funding strategy has not yet been identified, delegated authority to enter into a new Initial Promotion Agreement is being sought now to avoid programme delay once a funding strategy has been identified.

"Delays to the programme would result in further cost increases, put the already allocated Local Growth Fund money at risk due to spending deadlines, and add further risk to the project. Potential options for further funding for the project include the Department for Transport’s ‘Transforming Cities Fund’."

 

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On 17/05/2018 at 20:11, Never to the dark side said:

Such a shame. With house prices in BS3 astronomical at present, can see a lot of people buying in places like Pill, which are on this rail line. To have the direct link to Ashton Gate on Saturdays would have been great for fans buying homes outside the City limits. Now they'll have to contend with the already hideous match day traffic of the A369 and Cumberland Basin Underpass, plus trying to find parking somewhere!

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Re-opening a step nearer
From a letter received on the 20th February 2019

Dear Member,
Last night North Somerset Council approved a number of very significant steps for the project to reopen the Portishead line.
 
The most significant is committing an extra £15 million from NSC’s own Tier 3 business rate funding  to reduce the funding gap. This means that the funding is now in place for roughly three-quarters of the total cost and hopefully makes it easier for WECA, central government, Network Rail or other sources to come up with the remainder over the next few months.
 
Other commitments approved include:
Signing the Initial Promotion Agreement which underpins WECA and NSC working together through to delivery of the railway

Spending a further £4.5 million in 2019/20 and £7.2 million in 2020/21 to progress the project, taken from the existing Local Growth Fund source

Spending £300k on land purchases

Jointly promoting Phase 1 with WECA  (para 3.2)

Tram Trains review by NSC and Network Rail will report by end February that tram trains are more expensive than heavy rail and that it will be easy to convert Portishead to trams later if needed


The Bristol Feasibility Study (referred to in Chris Grayling’s letter last year) will report later in 2019 and it assumes that MetroWest Phase 1 and 2 are implemented
 
The DCO Submission is now scheduled for June 2019 (para 3.08), presumably to allow some of the above and other work required to be completed first.

You can find the whole document here under 19 February MetroWest Phase 1: http://apps.n-somerset.gov.uk/cairo/committees/comidx163-2018.asp
 
This all sounds very encouraging. In particular, if NSC are committing a further £15 million, then possibly WECA and Central Government could each do something similar, to close the funding gap completely.
 
Regards, Peter.
 
Peter Maliphant
Membership Secretary
Portishead Railway Group

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5 hours ago, phantom said:

Re-opening a step nearer
From a letter received on the 20th February 2019

Dear Member,
Last night North Somerset Council approved a number of very significant steps for the project to reopen the Portishead line.
 
The most significant is committing an extra £15 million from NSC’s own Tier 3 business rate funding  to reduce the funding gap. This means that the funding is now in place for roughly three-quarters of the total cost and hopefully makes it easier for WECA, central government, Network Rail or other sources to come up with the remainder over the next few months.
 
Other commitments approved include:
Signing the Initial Promotion Agreement which underpins WECA and NSC working together through to delivery of the railway

Spending a further £4.5 million in 2019/20 and £7.2 million in 2020/21 to progress the project, taken from the existing Local Growth Fund source

Spending £300k on land purchases

Jointly promoting Phase 1 with WECA  (para 3.2)

Tram Trains review by NSC and Network Rail will report by end February that tram trains are more expensive than heavy rail and that it will be easy to convert Portishead to trams later if needed


The Bristol Feasibility Study (referred to in Chris Grayling’s letter last year) will report later in 2019 and it assumes that MetroWest Phase 1 and 2 are implemented
 
The DCO Submission is now scheduled for June 2019 (para 3.08), presumably to allow some of the above and other work required to be completed first.

You can find the whole document here under 19 February MetroWest Phase 1: http://apps.n-somerset.gov.uk/cairo/committees/comidx163-2018.asp
 
This all sounds very encouraging. In particular, if NSC are committing a further £15 million, then possibly WECA and Central Government could each do something similar, to close the funding gap completely.
 
Regards, Peter.
 
Peter Maliphant
Membership Secretary
Portishead Railway Group

Sorry to piss on your chips,

its no closer then it was in may last year

unless the council suddenly finds 38 million down the back of the sofa, it won’t happen

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2 hours ago, Monkeh said:

Unless the council suddenly finds 38 million down the back of the sofa, it won’t happen

 

8 hours ago, phantom said:

The most significant is committing an extra £15 million from NSC’s own Tier 3 business rate funding  to reduce the funding gap. This means that the funding is now in place for roughly three-quarters of the total cost

Hi @Monkehis the £38m the total amount needed or the amount left to find? 

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I’d advocate leaving the car at home and getting on a bike in the meantime. Pretty nice route along the river. My old man cycled it to work and back. Even as a driver  surely the congestion and parking is enough to consider whether it is a necessity to use the car, never mind the issues from air pollution and accidents. 

 

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Everyone needs not to get there hopes up to high, I went to a presentation last autumn about the current proposal for the new line and its now down to the bargain basement level, there is no station at Ashton gate, only intermediate station is at Pill and this will now only have one platform so only one train an hour will be able to use the line, also the new trains will not be able to stop at Parson Street or bedminster as to do this they will need to reopen the closed outer platforms and relay the slow lines, 

So really this will be no real use to most city fans as you could I guess catch the train from Pill (but I did see there are going to be many parking restrictions around the station) but u will have to go all the way to temple meads and then catch a train back to Parson Street so will not be that quick 

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3 hours ago, Never to the dark side said:

Do the freight trains from Portbury docks,not already use the "up relief"(the slow line)?

Quite possibly, but it’s likely that safety and other regulations are much more stringent for passenger traffic than for freight, so an upgrade in that area might still be required.

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3 hours ago, Never to the dark side said:

Do the freight trains from Portbury docks,not already use the "up relief"(the slow line)?

Yes - but its only a single branch line with continuous welded track thats only rated for 30mph. The tunnels at Ham Green and by the Suspension Bridge are not passenger standard and need substantial work. That is where the costs have spiralled from. 

Perhaps they should have established the Yatton to Clevedon line and then along the old WC&P line.

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20 hours ago, phantom said:

 

Hi @Monkehis the £38m the total amount needed or the amount left to find? 

That’s the funding shortfall at 2017 levels, may still increase

i can tell you that it’s part of the metro west plans and resignalling plans for the area,

but we were suppose to get overheads down to temple meads and that got cancelled we’ll after the project had got underway

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27 minutes ago, Monkeh said:

That’s the funding shortfall at 2017 levels, may still increase

i can tell you that it’s part of the metro west plans and resignalling plans for the area,

but we were suppose to get overheads down to temple meads and that got cancelled we’ll after the project had got underway

I think the plan is or rather hope is that the shortfall is made from 50% grants elsewhere and Grayling magically pulling the rest out of a hat.   If we just renamed it Crossrail 3 we'd probably get £2bn overnight.

I joked that its just NSC offering it up before the local elections but quite a few people adamant that they really are committed to pushing the project through.  Perhaps they should stop buying shopping centres in Weston if that were the case.

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32 minutes ago, marmite said:

Christ it's nearly 2020! How hard can it be in todays age. Brunel did it with no technology years ago.:facepalm: ffs. (sorry Robbored)

The worst thing to happen to the line was it being reopened for frieght. It has made it so over complicated as there are litterally tons of paths scheduled on it. Yet most of them don't run these days - the biggest was the coal paths and most of these stopped when the coal fired power stations closed.

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The point is that the basic set up is in place already. It needs upgrading yes but there is ne need to buy much land or purchase and demolish property as per Crossrail. Its just the West Country backwater syndrome again when it comes to investment. Country bumkins are running the asylum in these 'ere parts!!

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12 hours ago, Never to the dark side said:

Do the freight trains from Portbury docks,not already use the "up relief"(the slow line)?

Yes the up slow line is there but will need to be completely relayed to make it a level where passinger trains can go over it but more expensive is the down line as this was ripped up years ago needs a complete relay all the way from temple meads to Parson Street until this is done it will be impossible to path the trains between Parson Street and temple meads if they stop at the 2 stations as they will make other trains late, 

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44 minutes ago, marmite said:

The point is that the basic set up is in place already. It needs upgrading yes but there is ne need to buy much land or purchase and demolish property as per Crossrail. Its just the West Country backwater syndrome again when it comes to investment. Country bumkins are running the asylum in these 'ere parts!!

Yep you could argue that but it does need completely new track, the tunnels upgrading to passenger standard and the fact that Portishead/NSC cocked up with building a road across where the railway line originally ran.  Its a catalogue of errors from the mid 1990s onwards. 

Mad to think the Evening Post managed to get steam trains running in 1986 with little more than a few weedkiller trains and shrub removal.   Maybe someone should have turned it into a preserved line.. could have run up to Ashton Gate, hooked left along the old port line to the industrial museum with no real restrictions other than a 25mph line limit..

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