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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Secretary of State for Transport officially opens Bristol’s first new station in almost a century

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This morning (Monday 31 July), representatives from Network Rail and train operator GWR joined the Secretary of State for Transport, the Mayor of Bristol and the Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to open Bristol’s first new railway station in 96 years.

The £5.8m Portway Park & Ride station between Shirehampton and Avonmouth forms part of the West of England Combined Authority’s wider plans to enhance the local rail network through the ambitious MetroWest programme and connects the existing park and ride facility with the Severn Beach railway line. The project to build the station was jointly funded by Bristol City Council, the West of England Combined Authority, and the UK Government’s Department for Transport.

Portway Park & Ride is the first new railway station to be delivered as part of the MetroWest programme, and the first new station to be launched in Bristol since Parson Street station, in 1927. MetroWest will see the introduction of seven new stations, the re-opening of some rail lines and the enhancement of cross-city services for Bristol’s passengers.

The single-platform station will provide passengers with half-hourly services between Bristol Temple Meads and Avonmouth, extending hourly to Severn Beach. The first services will be in operation on Tuesday 1 August, complimenting the existing park and ride travel options and providing links to destinations on the Severn Beach line or to the wider rail network via Bristol Temple Meads.

Network Rail and contractors Dyer & Butler had to overcome a number of challenges during construction, including national material shortages, the limitations of the Covid pandemic and last summer’s exceptional heat, which caused a delay to the pouring of the concrete that forms the platform foundations. Once this was completed, the platform was built during overnight shifts using pre-cast units that were lowered in by a crane. The team were then able to connect the drainage facilities and install electrical systems including lighting, CCTV, a ticket machine and telecommunications.

The station was designed with significant accessibility features such as tactile paving and signage that includes raised text and braille. The platform is 126 metres long and can accommodate both five and two-car trains.

Marcus Jones, Network Rail’s Western route director, said: “We’re so pleased to have worked with Bristol City Council, the West of England Combined Authority and GWR on building this new station for Bristol.

“The opening of Portway Park & Ride station heralds the latest development in our efforts to transform rail travel for our passengers in and around Bristol and the wider West of England area and will help further connect communities served by the Severn Beach line with this new, additional station.

“I’d like to thank our partners for their hard work and dedication, and the local community for their patience while the station was being constructed. I hope passengers from Bristol and beyond will experience the benefits that this new station will bring for years to come.”

Photo credit: Network Rail

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