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 Portishead Town Council

Representation

1. Areas of agreement 1.1. We support the plan to re-open the railway to improve the connectivity of Portishead and the associated economic, environmental and accessibility benefits that it will provide. 1.2. We agree with the diversion and widening of Quays Avenue to link with Harbour Road to the West of the existing roundabout intersection with Harbour Road and Phoenix Way. 1.3. Portishead has gone through massive change in the past ten years, it is one of the fastest growing towns in the UK and is lacking the infrastructure to support its population increase. Space for infrastructure and commercial development to support the population is now constrained and so it is important that the potential amenity land around the station is used efficiently and supports wider regeneration. 1.4. Against this background we agree with the location of the railway station (Work No.5) as this will foster economic development of the area to the East of Quays Avenue and South of Harbour Road, including the existing Portishead and Gordano Gate Business parks. It may be envisaged that the station will encourage further business, retail and residential regeneration of this strategically important area of Portishead with higher density mixed use development. 1.5. However, it is important that public access and transport links are comprehensive and integrated with the station to assist and align with the future development of this strategically important area. The station should also be linked with the largely residential areas to its North, East and South. 2. Areas of comment for further consideration Portishead has a vision to be a sustainable town for the future and we believe that amendments are needed to the plans to help meet that vision: 2.1. Portishead does not currently have a bus terminus and travel to the station by public transport must be part of an integrated transport solution. If car parking density can be increased it is suggested that consideration is given to a bus terminus in the area of the proposed Car Park to the North of the station (Work No.6) that would serve the residential area around the station and act as an interchange for feeder services from around the town. 2.2. Space in that area should also be made available for adequate taxi and passenger pick up and drop off. 2.3. Adequate car parking is also vitally important, but it is arguably an inefficient use of prime land in this strategically important area. To increase parking density, it is suggested that thought be given to the use of a multi-story car park to improve land utilisation. 2.4. Traffic to the station is likely to increase particularly along Harbour Road and Phoenix Way which already have congestion problems. Accordingly, access to car parking from both Harbour Road and Quays Avenue is recommended, with perhaps the consideration of a multi-storey car park on land to the West of the diverted Quays Avenue (Work No.2) and Harbour Crescent. 2.5. With better utilisation of the areas around Work No.6 and Work No.2 it may be possible for land to the South of Harbour Road (Work No.4) particularly at the West end of that strip abutting the Portbury Ditch to be retained for mixed-use. 2.6. Phoenix Way to the East of the station suffers from congestion and parking problems, it is suggested that consideration is given to providing more off-street parking and/or introducing parking restrictions along the length of Phoenix Way to Fennel Road. 2.7. We support the provision for cycle access, but the following suggestions are made: • To better utilise land a shared pedestrian and cycle path to the South side of Harbour Road may offer a better solution to that proposed on the Southern side of area Work No.4. This would better connect to the Marina area and provide more space in the Work No.4 area for mixed-use development. • Consideration should be given to extending the cycle path to the West of Portbury Ditch to provide an off-road connection with the Portishead Library and High Street area. A path that utilises the route of the old railway line and connects to Harbour Road at the intersection with Portbury Ditch is suggested. • Dedicated off-road cycle or mixed-use pavement provision is required along the whole of Quays Avenue to the interchange with Wyndham Way, given increases in traffic volumes along Quays Avenue. • An off road/shared space cycle path should be provided along the whole of the length of Phoenix way to the station. • To facilitate cycle and pedestrian access from the Portbury Common and Sheepway areas it is suggested the cycle way provision to the South of the railway line (Work 7 and 7B) is extended to run Eastwards (to the South of the railway line) to better connect with the housing area to the South East of the station. A cycle pathway running East and then South around the perimeter of that area of housing to connect with Moor Gate would improve off-road access from the Sheepway and Portbury Common area. • Provision should be made for electric bicycles (and cars) with secure charging points provided.