Rail bid goes in

FUNDING to re-open the Portishead to Bristol rail link has been included in a �100million bid submitted to the Government.

The West of England Partnership, made up of representatives from councils across the west, has submitted the funding bid for phase one of the Greater Bristol Metro Rail project.

This is a phased approach to the delivery of an enhanced local rail network in the area. Running half-hourly train services in peak times from Portishead to Bristol is included in the proposed first phase.

If the bid is successful, trains could be operating on the Portishead line as early as 2017.

Alan Matthews, chairman of Portishead Railway Group which has been campaigning for the re-opening of the line for years, said: “This is brilliant news and another step forward, not just for the Portishead to Bristol railway line but in the whole area achieving a much better public transport system.”

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The bid comes at the same time as transport companies are competing for the Great Western rail franchise, which will come into effect from next year.

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