Bristol

Re-opening of Portishead to Bristol rail line examined

Plans to re-open the Portishead to Bristol railway could cut the journey time into the Temple Meads station to 17 minutes.

A report from Network Rail showed that although the project cost was greater than anticipated, journey time was much quicker than previously thought.

Passenger services from Portishead were cut in the 1960s although part of the line was re-opened in 2002 for freight.

The estimated cost of the project is estimated at £38.9m

'Limited travel choice'

A North Somerset Council spokesman said at present traffic congestion on the A369 meant some commuters spent more than an hour on their journey.

"This route would represent a considerable time saving for residents of Portishead and surrounding villages who currently have limited travel choices into Bristol," he added.

It is hoped as a minimum to operate passenger trains every half hour at peak times and hourly off-peak. They will run from Portishead - via a reopened Pill station - and terminate at Bristol Temple Meads.

The report also shows that there is the capacity to call at other stations - where deemed necessary - along the branch line although this would delay journey times and could substantially increase costs.

Subject to funding and planning the line could open by 2017.

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