Town’s railway link bid goes off the rails - temporarily
A CAMPAIGN to re-open the Portishead to Bristol railway line has hit the buffers once again.
Results announced on last week confirmed that a bid for �43million from the Regional Growth fund, run by the Department for Business and Innovation, has been unsuccessful.
Supporters of the railway say they are gutted, however Chairman of Portishead Railway Group Alan Mathews said: “This is disappointing but not totally unexpected.
“Our bid was extremely high compared to many of the others which were for amounts between one and �10million and we knew the Government was always likely to favour a higher number of low bids, rather than a small number of high ones.”
If the bid had been successful, there were hopes that a passenger train service to Bristol from a new station next to Waitrose supermarket in Portishead’s Harbour Road, could be in operation within four years.
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The proposals include major works to the existing freight line serving Royal Portbury Dock and the disused section of line between Pill and Portishead.
Campaigners say failure to secure this funding is by no means the end of the road for the project.
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Mr Mathews added: “This is just another challenge for us to rise to and we have already overcome many.
“We know that North Somerset Council is keen to get the railway open and so the Portishead Railway Group will now be working with the authority to look at ways of moving the project forward without the Regional Growth funding.
“We have already been looking at private funding and need to establish what other alternatives are open to us.”