Every Bristolian knows the pain of having to listen to Londoners moan about public transport. They have no idea how much worse it could get (until they inevitably move here that is). Bristol’s charming, if a little worse for wear, railway system is hardly reliable and doesn’t run often enough to support this flourishing city – no wonder the farfetched idea of a Bristol Underground is so often thrown around.
But we might soon see an improvement on the Severn Beach railway line with three trains running per hour. Once voted one of the most scenic routes in Europe, the line runs from Bristol Temple Meads to the coastal suburbs of Severn Beach. Trains only started running every half an hour in 2021, but are only every hour on Sundays.
This forty-minute ride has 12 stops in total at Temple Meads, Lawrence Hill, Stapleton Road, Montpelier, Redland, Clifton Down, Sea Mills, Shirehampton, Portway Park & Ride, Avonmouth, St Andrews Road and Severn Beach. Connecting huge parts of the city, which would otherwise take several buses to reach, more frequent trains could be a major boost to Bristol’s economy.
The new Henbury line could also have two to three trains run per hour. The proposed railway line will stop at new stations at Ashley Down, North Filton and Henbury. Whether trains travelling through Bedminster and Parson Street will increase – which only run hourly – will increase hasn’t been addressed.
This all comes from a report on ‘Transport Infrastructure Projects’ to provide an update to the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority Committee on key transport schemes and to secure approval and funding. Transport experts at the West of England Combined Authority will meet on Friday, January 26 to sign off on the £100,000 project.
It reads: “Achieving the ambitions of the region is reliant on a world-class transport network. The region needs a well-connected, accessible network that helps people get around quickly, safely and sustainably in ways that support our environmental priorities. A reliable, safe and sustainable transport network is a fundamental building block to the future success of the region and providing a network that residents of the region deserve.
“The importance of good quality transport systems to the region was highlighted by the recent National Infrastructure Commission report which stated that England’s largest cities, including Bristol, have congested roads and inadequate public transport networks, which constrain economic growth.”
The report also outlines four new train stations that could soon open in Lockleaze, St Anne’s, Saltford and Ashton Gate, further expanding Bristol’s railway system. Elsewhere it discusses the introduction of zero-emission buses and more vehicle charge points.