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 25 February 2020
From South Gloucestershire Council


These representations are made by South Gloucestershire Council as an ‘adjacent’ planning authority, and are entirely separate to this Council’s West of England role as project promoter. This is a delegated officer response following consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning, Transportation and the Strategic Environment. Planning and Transport Policy Context The MetroWest Phase 1 project can be expected to contribute to delivery on the following adopted transport policy and spatial plans for both the West of England and South Gloucestershire: The West of England Joint Local Transport Plan 3: including for example the following goals: Goals Sub-goals Reduce carbon emissions Reduce greenhouse gas emissions Provide a resilient and adaptable transport network Promote walking, cycling, and public transport Support economic growth Implement the programme of major transport schemes Tackle congestion Promote use of alternatives to the car – walking, cycling, public transport and smarter choices Support delivery of and access to houses and jobs Increase capacity and reliability of transport networks Contribute to better safety, security and health Encourage more physically active travel – walking, cycling and public transport Promote accessibility Improve access to … employment Figure 6.2: the Vision for the West of England Rail Network. This illustrates how the Portishead Phase 1 scheme fits with the wider vision for the West of England including South Gloucestershire, as does paragraph 9.5.2 relating to rail passenger Journey Experience. South Gloucestershire Adopted Core Strategy 2013: Chapter 7: Tackling Congestion and Improving Accessibility: • Objective: Completing delivery of the …. Greater Bristol Metro Project (the previous name for the MetroWest Project) • Policy CS7: Strategic Transport Infrastructure: includes point 3. ‘Improvements to rail services, including…. the Greater Bristol Metro Project’, and • Policy CS8 Improving Accessibility: provision of non-car sustainable travel options South Gloucestershire Adopted Policies Sites and Places Plan 2017: Chapter 5 Tackling Congestion and Improving Accessibility: • PSP11 Transport Impact Management: supporting para. 5.18 regarding the promotion of sustainable transport access. Also of relevance is the Council’s climate change agenda, including the: • South Gloucestershire Council Climate Change Strategy 2018 – 2023 (updated 2019) This confirms that transport represents 33% of South Gloucestershire’s CO2 emissions, and highlights the need to address this. • South Gloucestershire Climate Change Emergency Declaration (17 July 2019), resolves to enable carbon neutrality for South Gloucestershire by 2030, and to work with the West of England Combined Authority and West of England partners to help deliver this. Effects of the MetroWest Phase 1 project As an ‘adjacent’ authority for the MetroWest project, South Gloucestershire (SG) is not directly affected by the proposed construction of the MetroWest DCO works associated with the Portishead line. However, as an integral part of the MetroWest Phase 1 project, it is agreed that SGC and its communities will benefit from improvement to 30 minute services on the Severn Beach line as well as indirect in combination and cumulative beneficial impacts resulting from enhancement of transport infrastructure in the wider West of England area. The MetroWest Phase 1 project forms part of a package of wider improvements across the WoE transport network can be expected to support: • economic growth and regeneration across the WoE, including at the Enterprise Areas (including Avonmouth Severnside that straddles the Bristol / South Gloucestershire boundary), and • reduced journey times and modal shift to sustainable commuting and travel - diverting journeys from road to rail, contributing to combatting: o climate change and o congestion – a very significant challenge for the West of England area. Conclusions: 1. No negative impacts have been identified to arise in South Gloucestershire from the MetroWest Phase 1 project. a. The MetroWest Phase 1 proposals should make a positive contribution to the delivery of a range of transport, planning and climate change policies in the wider WoE area (of which SGC is part), and 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, for the wider West of England area including South Gloucestershire. We also consider that it will be beneficial for South Gloucestershire 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 authority. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the officer named above.