£3.5m investment for West of England rail project

Economy & Politics | Funding | Midlands | South West | Transport & Distribution

railway tracks

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has approved a further £3.5m investment in the MetroWest project.

The funding will support the next stage in the project, which aims to deliver additional infrastructure and train operations by the end of 2021 to provide:

  • A half hourly service for Yate local station on the Bristol Parkway to Gloucester line, through the provision of an additional service between Bristol Parkway and Yate
  • An hourly service for a reopened Henbury Line with new stations at Henbury and North Filton
  • A new station at Ashley Down, on the existing Filton Bank

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “Rail is a key part of my ambition to improve public transport in the region, giving people more sustainable ways to travel.

“This includes improving the Severn Beach line to provide direct services to Bath and Westbury, re-opening Henbury station and more frequent services to Yate. We also have plans to open new train stations in Portishead, Henbury, Portway and Charfield.

“Improved and more frequent rail services will give people better access to jobs, link new homes and communities with employment areas and encourage more people to use public transport. This is just part of the picture. Our long-term Investment Strategy proposes £350m for transport over the next 20 years.”

The West of England Joint committee has also confirmed a £500,000 allocation to the MetroWest scheme, and in April the Transport Secretary committed an extra £31.9m to complete the funding needed to reopen the railway to Portishead and Pill with two new stations. The Severn Beach line extension to Bath and Westbury is also on track for 2021.

It is anticipated that the MetroWest scheme could add 1.6m passenger journeys per year once fully operational, and could bring more than an additional 50,000 people within the immediate catchment of the rail network.

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