Additional funding secured to deliver Portishead rail line

12:57pm - 27 July 2022
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Today, the Department for Transport have committed an additional £15.5m to deliver MetroWest Phase 1b, which would see the reopening the Portishead to Bristol rail line.

This is in addition to £10m committed by North Somerset Council at the July Council meeting. The West of England Combined Authority will meet on Friday 29 July to reach agreement on contributing a further £10m, which would close the remaining funding gap.

Projected capital costs for the scheme had risen to £152m earlier in the year, creating a shortfall of £35.5m. This was the result of approval of the scheme’s Development Consent Order (DCO) costing more than anticipated and unprecedented global increases to the cost of energy, labour and construction materials.

Councillor Steve Bridger, Leader of North Somerset Council and Executive Member for Major Projects said: “This is more good news for Portishead, Pill and the region. As part of MetroWest Phase 1b, 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. I’d 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.”

The additional funding will be subject to Department for Transport approval of the scheme’s full business case and the DCO, as well as the £10m in funding from both North Somerset Council and the West of England Combined Authority. 

MetroWest Phase 1b, which includes the highly anticipated rail link, would bring 50,000 people back into the direct catchment area of a rail station for the first time in over 60 years. In addition, it would provide more reliable and sustainable travel links for those accessing jobs and opportunities across the region.

To read more about the scheme, visit travelwest.info/metrowest