Bristol

Funding blow for Portishead to Bristol rail link

A bid for £43m to reopen a railway link between Bristol and Portishead has been rejected by the government.

North Somerset Council applied for the money from the Regional Growth Fund to begin passengers services on the line which closed in 1964.

The authority said it was "disappointed" but added that reopening the route was still a "high priority".

"Work will continue on pursuing all options for funding this important transport scheme," a statement said.

North Somerset Council's deputy leader, Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, said they would continue to work with Network Rail on a plan to open the line.

"We are still very much committed to reopening the Portishead rail link. We knew it was only an outside chance of getting funding from the growth fund.

"We will continue to press ahead and work with Network Rail to look at alternative funding streams."

Part of the rail line into Bristol - from Portbury - was reopened in 2002 but the rest of the route remains disused.

A study in 2010 showed that travel time from the Portishead would be 17 minutes compared to an hour by road during rush hour.

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