The joint Network Rail and West of England Combined Authority 10 Year Rail Delivery Plan 2020 to 2030 aims to enhance local rail services. It will restore confidence in the rail network following Covid-19, assist economic recovery, rebuild passenger numbers, increase freight carried by rail and support the West of England’s key growth locations for housing and jobs.
All of this will require new infrastructure. With long lead in times some proposals will take longer than 10 years to deliver so this is as much a development plan as a delivery one but this is the start of the transformation of our local rail network. Following on from this work the 25 Year Strategic Outline Business Case will review the longer term aspirations for rail and establish a 25 year programme and funding strategy to 2045.
The 10 Year Rail Delivery Plan will develop and deliver services and infrastructure over two five year periods.
The 10 Year Rail Delivery Plan will be kept under review and updated periodically as necessary.
One of the key aims of our Business Plan is to promote sustainable travel by reducing car journeys and therefore supporting our 2030 net-zero carbon target. Part of the Metro Mayor’s ambition is to encourage and support people to change how they travel within the West of England.
Alongside our flagship rail projects, there are also long-term plans in place to improve upon existing infrastructure with the aim of encouraging greater passenger numbers and improve accessibility at rail stations for all passengers.
One of our core long-term commitments to the region is to promote accessible transport for all passengers. We have already engaged with rail industry partners to enable step free station access at all stations in the region. One of the first projects, which is currently being launched, is aimed at making both platforms at Lawrence Hill completely step free, with a target completion by 2027.
Alongside this project we are also engaging with industry partners to start developing options for other rail stations in the region that currently don’t have step free access to one or more of the platforms.
We have also identified a list of eight priority stations, in the region, to receive enhancements to the current provision of station facilities encompassing upgrades to a combination of wayfinding, seating and shelters. This scheme utilises DfT match funding and will be delivered through our industry partners resulting in passenger benefits throughout the region and potentially result in an increase in propensity to travel by rail. These enhancements have a target completion date of 2023.
The priority stations that have been identified for enhancement are: