Decision on Portishead Station delayed until next year
- Credit: MetroWest
A Government decision to open a rail station at Portishead with links to Bristol and Bath has been put on hold for another six months.
Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, was due to give a decision on a Development Consent Order (DCO) submitted by North Somerset Council on October 19.
The order would sanction the £116million MetroWest Phase One plan which aims to ''re-open the Portishead rail line and enhance local passenger train services on the Severn Beach and Bath to Bristol lines'.
However, the Transport Secretary announced a decision would not be made until April of next year 'to allow further consideration of environmental matters'.
A statement published on October 20 read: "The Secretary of State received the Examining Authority’s report on the Portishead Branch Line – MetroWest Phase One development consent order application on July 19 and the current deadline for a decision was October 19.
"The deadline for the decision is to be extended to April 19, 2022, an extension of six months to allow further consideration of environmental matters."
North Somerset Council leader, and executive for public transport, Don Davies told the Times that the decision had left him incredibly frustrated.
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Cllr Davies said: "We are extremely disappointed to learn that the decision regarding the Development Consent Order has been delayed until April next year.
"This will inevitably impact on the project delivery timescales.
"In the meantime, we will continue to work with our partners to provide any additional information that the Department for Transport needs to reach their decision."
MetroWest Phase One would also see the old station at Pill reopened.
The council has previously estimated that the scheme would be used by around one million passengers and would cut out 181,000 car trips in its first year.
Once completed it is also hoped that more than 500 jobs would become available from the project and that the regional economy would enhance by £264million in the first 10 years.
The project has been delayed many times over the years, including in August 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic cited as an 'inevitable' reason for its delay.
For more information on MetroWest Phase One, visit www.metrowestphase1.org