MetroWest rail upgrade initially excludes Ashton Gate station

View along the disused Portishead railway line
Image caption Re-opening the Portishead line, which closed in 1964, is part of the MetroWest Phase 1 project, being overseen by the West of England Partnership

A new railway station at Ashton Gate in Bristol has been ruled out of the first phase of a £58m investment in the area's rail infrastructure.

The MetroWest Phase 1 project includes the reopening of the Bristol-to-Portishead line to passenger train services, by early 2019.

An study found it would initially be cost-prohibitive to build the station, but it would feature in later plans.

The project team said the scheme was on hold until funding is in place.

The plans have been drawn up by the Joint Transport Board for the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership.

Vice chairman Mark Bradshaw stressed that there was still a "commitment" to build a new station at Ashton Gate.

He said: "All rail schemes really must have strong business case backing and clearly more work is needed to shape the special case for Ashton Gate."

Network Rail confirmed the plans would be flexible to enable a new station to be developed when the funding and business case allow.

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