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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Timetable changes expected in Bristol area this Summer as major railway upgrade gets underway

Bristol Temple Meads is being transformed and the railway serving the area upgraded – paving the way for more train services to move more people, more reliably.

The work is part of the Bristol Rail Regeneration programme that will see improvements to the iconic Bristol Temple Meads station over the next three years, supporting the city’s Temple Quarter development.

This programme will also deliver new railway tracks and signalling in and around Bristol that, once complete, will increase capacity in the area allowing more trains to run on the network.

These services will provide over 4,000 additional seats on trains every day in the area plus plans for new stations through the MetroWest initiative backed by the West of England Combined Authority.

Chief Executive of the West of England Combined Authority, Dr Patricia Greer, said: 

“We have plans in place to transform travel by rail over the next 10 years, providing people with new rail routes, step-free access at stations and more frequent ‘turn up and go’ services. We have a long-term regional rail plan agreed for the West of England. We are leading on the work, in partnership with Network Rail and local councils.”

Wherever possible rail improvements will be completed overnight or at weekends to minimise impact on customers. However, this summer Network Rail is replacing a major junction near Bristol Temple Meads to improve the track layout which will require a solid block of 24/7 working. This will mean changes to some train services but will make for better journeys for passengers in the future.

Jonathan Davies, Network Rail Project Director, said:

“We would like to thank in advance our passengers and local residents for their patience while we undertake this important, transformative work at Bristol East junction.

“We are working closely with the train operating companies to ensure disruption is minimised as much as possible and we encourage passengers to plan ahead and check before they travel, particularly during this period.”

GWR Regional Development Manager Matt Barnes said:

“This work will in time help us to deliver 4,000 more train seats a day into the city, on more services through Bristol and help to reduce the conflict between long-distance and local stopping services, helping to maintain the reliability of our trains.

“We will continue to operate trains through Bristol during the period, but there will be some alterations to timetables and journey frequency, so please do check what is best for you if you’re travelling during the period.”

Trains between London Paddington and South Wales or to the North via Bristol Parkway, or to the South West via Taunton will continue to operate throughout this period.

There will also be no impact on long-distance train services to/from Bristol Temple Meads for the first four weeks, but some local stopping services will be different.

Saturday 10 July to Friday 13 August

  • No direct trains between Bristol Temple Meads and Cardiff Central or Gloucester – these trains will stop at Bristol Parkway instead
  • Severn Beach trains will run from Lawrence Hill (except Sundays) – alternative road transport will run to/from Bristol Temple Meads

Saturday 7 August and Monday 9 to Friday 13 August

  • No trains can run between Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa – alternative road transport will be provided instead, adding around 30 minutes to journeys
  • CrossCountry trains won’t stop at Bristol Temple Meads

Sunday 8 August

  • No trains can stop at Bristol Temple Meads – alternative road transport will run to/from Bristol Parkway, Bath Spa, Taunton, Weston-super-Mare or Severn Beach

Saturday 14 to Monday 30 August

  • No trains can run between Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa – alternative road transport will be provided instead, adding around 30 minutes to journeys

Tuesday 31 August to Friday 3 September

  • No trains can stop at Bristol Temple Meads – alternative road transport will run to/from Bristol Parkway, Bath Spa, Taunton, Bedminster or Lawrence Hill

Train companies are working with Network Rail to finalise the timetables for this summer, and we expect to be able to provide more detail about those changes soon.

As an alternative, Great Western Railway will aim to have ticket acceptance on First West of England buses in the Bristol area on any reasonable route for the duration of this period.

For more information visit GWR.com/Bristol.

You can also find out more about the Bristol Rail Regeneration programme at Networkrail.co.uk/BristolRailRegen.

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