Portishead Railway project boosted by £15million funding

Abandoned Portishead rail line.

A £156million plan which would reopen the Portishead Railway line has received a healthy chunk of Government funding. - Credit: Barry Cash

The Department for Transport (DfT) has granted more than £15 million of funding for the MetroWest Phase One scheme, which includes plans to reopen the Portishead railway line.

Uncertainty has loomed over the railway's reopening with 'environmental issues and inflation' threatening to derail the project.

The MetroWest plans aim to rejuvenate public transport in the South West by giving train access to 80,000 more residents with North Somerset's Portishead and Pill rail stations set to be reopened.

The proposed location of Portishead's new train station

The proposed location of Portishead's new train station - Credit: supplied

North Somerset Council leader, Steve Bridger, said he was 'thrilled' to hear the DfT was to pump another £15.5m of funding into the scheme - on top of the council's £10m pledge.

Cllr Bridger said: “This is more good news for Portishead, Pill and the region.

"As part of MetroWest Phase 1, Portishead rail is one of our key schemes with the potential to transform the area through greener travel, access to jobs and sustainable economic growth.

“I am thrilled that our commitment and determination is paying dividends and has brought the rail line a step closer to becoming a reality for our residents."

Most Read

Projected capital costs for the scheme had risen to £152m earlier in the year as a result of the approval of the scheme’s Development Consent Order (DCO) taking longer than anticipated and 'unprecedented global increases to the cost of energy, labour and construction materials'.

This rise in cost created a shortfall of £35.5m - leading to North Somerset Council's £10m pledge and the DfT funds. 

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA), will meet on Friday (July 29) to reach an agreement on contributing a further £10m, which would close the remaining funding gap.

The MetroWest project will also include train services upgraded on the Severn Beach line and between Bath Spa and Bristol Temple Meads.

Cllr Steve Bridger. Picture: North Somerset Council

North Somerset Council leader, Steve Bridger remains optimistic for the scheme's completion. - Credit: Archant

Cllr Bridger added: "I would like to thank our officers, my councillor colleagues, our West of England Combined Authority partners, the Department for Transport, Liam Fox MP and the rail minister for their continued efforts in pushing this much-anticipated scheme forward.”

Portishead and Pill railway lines are currently scheduled to reopen in 2024.

For more information on the MetroWest Phase One scheme, visit