Portishead to Bristol railway line gets final approval from government

A design of how Pill Station could look as part of the new plans. Credit: MetroWest

The long-awaited reopening of a railway line between Bristol and Portishead is one step closer to reality after ministers gave the green light for work to get underway.

The project - which hopes to connect Portishead to Bristol for the first time since 1964 - has already seen a series of delays after its application was originally submitted two years ago.

But work to prepare the £152m line can now begin after it was signed off by the Secretary of State for Transport.

The decision follows an agreement made in the summer between the combined authority, council and the Department for Transport to plug a cash hole for the project by pledging £35.5m in additional funding to the project.

As part of the plans, a new station will be built at Portishead, for people to use to get on the hourly service to Bristol.

The scheme also includes bringing disused rail line back into use and building a car and bus interchange at Portishead.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris, who leads the West of England Combined Authority said: “The last time you could catch a train along this line was before a man walked on the moon and the Beatles were taking America by storm.

Portishead Railway station when it was opened in the 1950s. Credit: BPM Media

"So I’m pleased to have passed another important milestone. This is a project long in the making and undoubted there will be more bumps in the road.

"However, this important thumbs up keeps us firmly on the right track, and means the hard work of physically bringing this rail line back to life can begin.

"This is a really important project that will see communities in south Bristol and across our city reconnected to Portishead and help in our vital quest for net-zero."

Train services from Portishead to Bristol could be open by 2026.