Rail link between Portishead and Bristol Harbourside

I suggest a reopening of the rail link between Portishead and the Bristol Harbourside area, partially utilising the already existing route of the Bristol Harbour Railway and building the new terminus at Wapping Wharf behind the M-Shed museum. Currently this area is slated to be used for luxury apartments and I believe planning permission should be placed on hold until this proposal is considered. The rail link could also be used to provide a local link between Temple Meads and the centre, via Bedminster.

Why the contribution is important

Portishead is currently the second largest town in the UK by population with no rail link. Thousands of people have to make the daily commute to and from Bristol each week principally along the A4 through the Avon gorge and this heavily used route is likely to become even more congested as population increases affect the Greater Bristol Area. By 2016 the Bristol City Councils own studies estimate further 20 000 cars on the cities roads which will only exacerbate the problem. Such a link would add significantly to the revitalisation of the harbourside area and provide a useful point of access to Bristol City Centre which is only a few minutes walk away.

by user473479 on December 28, 2013 at 06:49PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.4
Based on: 24 votes


  • Posted by user412750 January 02, 2014 at 13:39

    This is such a sensible idea; it would be insanity NOT to do it. It is indeed insanity, and yet another huge failure of planning, that Portishead has been allowed to expand so massively without public transport infrastructure being built in from the start.

    This simply HAS to happen.
  • Posted by user428889 January 03, 2014 at 10:27

    There is already a plan to reopen the Portishead line under the MetroWest plan promoted by the four authorities of the West of England. Find out more here:

    Do bear in mind this is a website for the Bristol City Council area - Portishead and the former railway line is in North Somerset. Only by working with our local authority partners can we achieve the railway improvements we all want to see.

    Funding for major investment in the railways comes largely from government, it's not something Bristol City Council can fund on its own. In the case of MetroWest, funding is being sought from the DfT (Dept for Transport) Devolved Major Schemes grant, although it's a competitive bidding process which is still in progress. Find out more about finding rail schemes here:

    The Mayor has said repeatedly he is a railway enthusiast and very much wants to see improvements in the railway network and services in the Greater Bristol area. Only by working with our neighbouring councils, bidding for funding from government, campaigning for more services to be included in the new franchise and working with the private rail operators can this be achieved. It's significantly more complicated than many people appreciate - a good starting point is to read the MetroWest information sheets http://www.travelwest.info/node/739.

    The current plan is the only realistic plan on the table and is the result of years of preparatory work.
  • Posted by user675375 January 06, 2014 at 16:12

    I agree. Why was Portishead allowed to become a megalopolis without advanced public transport links to Bristol, the region's major employment centre, designed in from the start? Another all too predictable failure to show joined-up thinking from the powers that be. It is SO tedious.
  • Posted by user251846 January 07, 2014 at 12:47

    However it is done, Portishead should be linked to Bristol for passengers asap.
Log in or register to add comments and rate ideas