Plans for the reopening of the Portishead branch line have taken another forward as Bristol’s MetroWest project has applied for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to take the work forward.
The scheme plans to upgrade the current freight-only line to Royal Portbury Dock and reinstate the original line to Portishead. Two new stations will be built, at Portishead, where the location of the original station is now a supermarket, and at Pill, where the line for Royal Portbury Dock diverges. A third station, at Ashton Gate, is planned for Phase 2 of the project.
The original plans to run a half-hourly service have been scaled back on cost grounds and the current plan is for an hourly service from Bristol Temple Meads to Portishead and Pill.
The reopening of the Portishead branch line is one element of MetroWest Phase 1, which also includes running hourly services on the Severn Beach line to Bristol Temple Meads and half hourly services from Avonmouth to Bristol Temple Meads, and also introducing half-hourly services to Bath and Westbury.
The DCO Examining Authority issued a Recommendation Report to the Secretary of State on 19 July 2021, who now has three months in which to issue a decision.