Portishead, UK: Will a new level crossing be approved?

22 Aug

Portishead Town Council are planning to spend GBP50,000 to engage consultants to make a business case for a new level crossing necessary if the preferred site for the proposed railway station on Harbour Road.

At present the Office of Rail Regulation has said that it has been provided with insufficient evidence to determine if a new level crossing should be authorised. Given national policy that new level crossings will not be permitted except where a new level crossing replaces two or more existing level crossings it looks as if the Harbour Road location will provide a real test of the regulators resolve.

Now, the task is for the promotors of the scheme to provide “sufficiently compelling” evidence to demonstrate there is an exceptional need”.

The opening of the Portishead line is a key priority of the Metro-West Phase One project being pioneered and funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership. The scheme, which will cost in the region of GBP50 million, will see a passenger introduced in 2019.

North Somerset Council – which will have the final say on the site for the new station – has already bought the solum between Portishead and Portbury to protect it for future rail use has been carried out on the corridor that last saw a passenger train in 1964. The line as far as Portbury Dock, three miles short of Portishead, reopened for freight traffic in 2002.

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