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 Severnside Community Rail Partnership cic

Representation

Representation from the Severnside Community Rail Partnership cic- a Department for Transport Accredited Community Rail Partnership. Established in 2006 as Community Interest (not for profit) Company, we work with local communities to encourage the use of local trains, to ensure that access to local stations is easy, and to enhance these stations so they provide a safe and welcoming environment. Our station improvement projects are delivered with the assistance of volunteers, schools, youth groups and the Community Payback scheme. Our principal partners and funders are Bath and North East Somerset Council, Bristol City Council, North Somerset Council, Somerset Council, South Gloucestershire Council, Great Western Railway and Cross Country Trains. Details of our work can be found https://www.severnside-rail.org.uk/ We fully support the Metro West project and recognise the immediate, and indeed, wider benefits which will arise from the extension of rail services to Portishead The transport benefits are set out in the business case and are well understood. However, we would like to highlight our experience and work in supporting the wider, unquantified benefits which we believe will arise from this project. The integration of this town into the rail network will give a boost to its economy, as well as allowing residents to access jobs and services in Bristol, with important connections elsewhere. Our experience shows that railway stations can become an important focus for the community. We have demonstrated in our work the wide range of ways communities will actively support local stations and work to improve and maintain them. Our annual reports, available from the link above, detail the range of initiatives from art work, reducing graffiti, to the creation of community gardens and litter patrols to keep stations clean. While there will obviously be costs and some adverse impact of this project, we believe that the benefits will be significant and out-way the dis-benefits. As a result we fully support the project and hope it is given approval without delay Yours sincerely Keith Walton Chairman, Severnside Community Rail Partnership cic c/o GWR,Temple Meads Station, Bristol BS1 6QF (Redacted)