North Somerset Council to agree authority to finalise Full Business Case for Portishead rail line


At January’s Full Council meeting, members will decide on proposals for the Full Business Case currently being developed for the Portishead to Bristol rail line. The line, one of the Department for Transport’s Restoring Your Railway projects, is part of the MetroWest programme. 

The proposals would give Councillor Mike Bell, Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Major Infrastructure Projects, authority to finalise a completed Full Business Case on behalf of North Somerset Council, ready for its submission to the Department for Transport (DfT). Submission of the Full Business Case is expected to take place at the end of February. 

This follows months of detailed design which has been underway since securing the Development Consent Order (DCO) to build the line, along with additional funding to help tackle inflation and rising costs across the construction industry. 

Councillor Mike Bell, Leader of North Somerset Council and Executive Member for Major Infrastructure Projects, said: “By connecting 50,000 residents back into the rail network, the Portishead to Bristol line stands to be transformative for both North Somerset and the region. 

“Not only would it provide better connections for Portishead and Pill, but it would offer green alternatives to getting around, cutting road traffic with expected train journeys of just 23 minutes.

“Submission of the Full Business Case is an impressive feat and the result of years of hard work and effort. In delegating authority to finalise the business case, the Council can play its part in achieving a February submission to the DfT. 

“We’d like to thank our partners at West of England Combined Authority and Network Rail for their role in preparing the Full Business Case to date. We look forward to continuing work together as the project progresses.” 

Should the Full Business Case be approved by the DfT, Portishead line will be brought back to Full Council in summer 2024 to agree the release of funding set aside for the scheme by North Somerset Council. This would be in addition to funding approved by the DfT, as set out in the Full Business Case. 

For more about the Portishead line, visit