Portishead Branch Line – MetroWest Phase 1

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

Portishead Branch Line - MetroWest Phase 1

Received 11 February 2020
From Somerset County Council

Representation

This representation is made by Somerset County Council as an ‘adjacent’ planning authority. Planning and Transport Policy Context The MetroWest Phase 1 project will contribute to delivery on our adopted and emerging transport policy, business growth and other plans for Somerset County Council. As a nearby authority for the MetroWest project, Somerset County Council (SCC) is not directly affected by the proposed construction of the MetroWest DCO works associated with the Portishead line. But it is agreed that SCC and its communities, particularly in the north of the county, will benefit from MetroWest Phase 1 project and the new and improved commuter services on the Severn Beach line where they will reduce car usage on the M5 and neighbouring roads through that part of our county. We also appreciate the indirect beneficial impacts resulting from enhancement of transport infrastructure in the wider West of England and Peninsula areas. The MetroWest Phase 1 project can also be expected to support economic growth along the M5 economic corridor, including the |Hinkley Housing and Gravity Enterprise Zone around the Bridgwater area. The scheme will support modal shift to sustainable commuting and travel - diverting journeys from road to rail, contributing to combatting o climate change and o congestion – a significant challenge for the north of the county Conclusions: 1. No negative or cumulative impacts have been identified to arise in Somerset from the MetroWest Phase 1 project. 2. It is agreed that positive socio-economic and environmental effects are expected to arise from the delivery of this first phase of the wider MetroWest project both for Somerset and the wider Peninsula area. These should make a positive contribution to the delivery of a range of transport, planning and climate change policies in Somerset and the wider Peninsula area (of which SCC is part). We consider that it will be beneficial for Somerset County Council to be registered as an ‘Interested Party’ for the MetroWest Phase 1 Examination to enable this Council to respond to any issues arising during proceedings that are relevant to this Council as planning and highway authority. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the officer named above.