Councillor offers potential lifeline to miniature railway

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 September 2018

Ashton Court Miniature Railway

Ashton Court Miniature Railway

Supplied

A miniature railway on the brink of closure could be saved by North Somerset Council if a suitable new site can be found for it.

Ashton Court Model Railway.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONAshton Court Model Railway. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The future of Ashton Court Miniature Railway is under threat with Bristol City Council, which owns the land, considering not renewing the lease past the end of 2018.

The attraction has been run by the Bristol Society of Model & Experimental Engineers (BSMEE) since 1972, but the city council says it does not make much money and is looking to increase income at the site.

However, the railway could be handed a lifeline by another authority as North Somerset executive member David Pasley is keen to find it a new home in the district.

Cllr Pasley said: “A month ago I was approached by one of their team and asked if North Somerset Council would be interested in helping them find an alternative home. My immediate reaction was to offer to meet them and to look at potential homes such as Portishead.

Ashton Court Miniature RailwayAshton Court Miniature Railway

“I conferred with our officers and colleagues, and their reaction was the same as mine – we want to help them.

“Although Ashton Court is in North Somerset the site is owned by Bristol City Council, over which we have no control.

“I think it will be very short-sighted if Bristol City Council is prepared to lose the railway, but it will be North Somerset Council’s gain.

“A number of locations come to mind and if they are interested I will be very pleased to set up meetings and site visits to move matters forward.”

Railway fans have launched a petition in an attempt to save the attraction.

BSMEE chairman Norman Rogers said: “Bristol City Council believes it can raise more money through introducing alternative activities to the site, hence the threat to the railway. In effect, BSMEE and its railway are at risk of being priced out of the park.”

Other News Stories

Concerns over the state of a lake in Portishead has seen an online petition launched.

Read more
07:00

Frustrated voters have called a public meeting to air concerns about the way in which the Portishead Town Council operates.

Read more

A charity has launched a new service in North Somerset which promises to fill a gap in mental health provision.

Read more
07:16

North Somerset Council will trial a new phone service next month which allows the public to leave a message asking staff to call them back rather than waiting on hold.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:57

A support group to help people with their grief has been set up.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:35

A village preschool will close after more than 45 years because funding streams could no longer cover its running costs.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

Pupils in Nailsea have designed their school’s wall art display after winning a competition.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Torrential downpours could do little to deter people turning out to sample a tantalising selection of food and browse quirky craft stalls in Portishead at the weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00

People will get their questions and concerns around policing answered by the area’s Chief Constable.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

Trams and light rail are being considered as options to solving Portishead’s long-running railway saga, but the ideas have been slated by North Somerset councillors.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the North Somerset Times e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 6°C

Useful Links

Reader Travel

Clevedon Tide report

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

North Somerset Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications