Construction of a brand-new railway station to link Portway Park & Ride with the Severn Beach railway line has got underway.
The £4.2m project at the Portway Park & Ride site in Shirehampton forms part of the West of England Combined Authority’s wider plans to enhance the local rail network through the ambitious MetroWest programme. The station is being jointly funded by the West of England Combined Authority, Bristol City Council, and the UK Government’s Department for Transport.
“I'm pleased building work is beginning on the Portway Park & Ride station. The West of England Combined Authority is investing over £1 million here which is good news for future passengers.
“Improving our public transport network is crucial so local people can get more easily to work, study and to enjoy our great region and is vital to meet our ambitious net zero targets.”
Bristol City Council and Network Rail are working together to build the first new railway station in the city of Bristol in 95 years. Portway Park & Ride will be the first new railway station to be delivered as part of the MetroWest programme, and the first new station to be launched in Bristol since Parson Street station was opened in 1927.
When launched later this summer, the station will be served by the recently improved half-hourly services between Bristol Temple Meads and Severn Beach. It will complement the existing Park & Ride bus service and be a useful extra transport option for the local community, as well as providing Park & Ride users from further afield a rail option to destinations along the Severn Beach line or for onward travel on the wider rail network from Bristol Temple Meads.
Bristol City Council is also planning improvements to its Park & Ride facility, including more parking spaces, following the opening of the new station.
Councillor Don Alexander, Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “It’s really exciting to see work starting on the first new rail station within the city in almost a century, and this is a major milestone for the project.
“Portway Park & Ride station will improve connectivity to the rail network for the local community and more widely for users of our Park & Ride site, allowing many more people to choose to travel by rail to work, study and for leisure.
“It will help us to ease congestion on the roads in a sustainable way and reduce air pollution, as we work towards our ambitious goal to be carbon neutral and climate resilient by 2030.”
Network Rail completed preparatory work in December, ready for the first stage of construction to get underway. This includes replacing the safety fencing along the railway line, installing a ramp down to the tracks, and excavating the area of the platform in preparation for laying the foundations.
Mike Gallop, Network Rail Western Route and Strategic Operations Director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Bristol City Council, the West of England Combined Authority and GWR on opening this new station for Bristol.
“The start of construction for the Portway Park & Ride station heralds the latest development in our efforts to transform rail travel for our passengers in and around Bristol and the wider West of England area and will help further connect communities served by the Severn Beach line with this new, additional station.”
Much of the work will be carried out overnight to reduce disruption to rail passengers. However, the Severn Beach line will need to close temporarily from 19 to 27 February, to allow Network Rail’s team of engineers to make the changes to the signalling needed to accommodate the new station and build the concrete foundations in preparation for the new platform. Improvements to drainage along the railway line will also be made.
During this time, trains will not call at stations between Bristol Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood, or between Severn Beach and Stapleton Road. A rail replacement bus service will be in operation and the Portway Park & Ride facility will remain open throughout the work with Park & Ride buses operating as usual.
Tom Pierpoint, Business Development Director for GWR, said: “We are delighted to see work starting at Portway Park & Ride station. Recent improvements to the Severn Beach line increased services to half-hourly, starting earlier in the morning and finishing later in the evening.
“This new Portway Park & Ride station will help more people to switch to rail for their journeys into central Bristol, which is great for the environment and supports Bristol’s clean air campaign.”