New Temple Meads entrance won’t open for two years as work starts
A £100 million plan to transform the entrances to Bristol’s Temple Meads station has taken another step forward - but even though a new eastern entrance to the city’s main train station will be completed inside the next 12 months, it won’t be opened until 2026.
That’s because the new eastern entrance will only open out onto a building site, until the University of Bristol have started and completed their plans for a Temple Quarter campus on the land at Cattle Market Road where the infamous eyesore Royal Mail sorting office once stood.
Bristol’s two mayors - the city mayor Marvin Rees and metro mayor Dan Norris - visited the site today, Wednesday, November 8, to check on progress, the day after Bristol City Council ’s cabinet rubber-stamped a move to create a ‘Joint Delivery Vehicle’, which will be a separate company to take forward all the huge transformation of the Temple Quarter area over the next decade or more.
That ‘Joint Delivery Vehicle’ will formalise the relationship between all the different players in the Temple Quarter regeneration project: the city council, the West of England Combined Authority, Homes England, the Government’s land agency that owns a lot of the land around the station, and Network Rail. The cabinet meeting on Tuesday evening heard that this Joint Delivery Vehicle will be formally set up in January, then hire a developer to get started in the spring. (article continues below…)
The new eastern entrance to Temple Meads station will be knocked through the wall at the far end of the subway under the platforms, opening out into a new arrivals hall, and then out into what will become the University of Bristol’s campus. From there, across Cattle Market Road and over the infamous ‘bridge to nowhere’ to what used to be called ‘Arena Island’, there are plans for an office complex and two huge blocks of student flats.
On the northern side of Temple Meads, there are plans for a new entrance, new homes and a bus hub, while on the southern side, off the Bath Road, there are plans for a new car park and entrance to the station for people arriving by car and taxi.
The first new entrance is the eastern one, where work has already begun, and the piling work next to platform 15 to prepare the way for the new subway under the platform to connect up with the main station from that side.
“I’m thrilled to see we are firmly on track to see this brand-new entrance for Brunel’s iconic station - a gateway in and out of this amazing city. It’s really going to improve access for locals east of the city,” said metro mayor Dan Norris. “It’s all part of one of the most exciting regeneration projects in Europe, a major investment in the present and future of Bristol, and our West of England region, which I’m proud of is being administered by my Mayoral Combined Authority.(Image: Paul Gillis/Bristol Live)
“Combine this with the multi-million-pound programme of region-wide rail improvements - think the opening of Portway Park and Ride this summer, 30-minute train journeys across our region to and from Temple Meads, and soon-to-be new stations at Henbury, North Filton and elsewhere - it’s clear we’re making getting around in the West easier than ever before. My Mayoral Combined Authority will continue to deliver at pace which we know is so vital. It’s what Bristolians, and everyone in our amazing region, expects and deserves,” he added.
The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, who will be out of office long before any of the redevelopment is finished, said it had been a long road since 2017 to get to this point. “It’s great to be on site at the first construction site under the BTQ programme after years of preparation and planning to get to this point, starting with the first Strategic Board back in 2017,” he explained.(Image: Network Rail)
“It’s a sign of what organisations can do when they put their minds and effort towards a common goal, and all pull in the same direction with an openness to collaborate pragmatically and flexibly. This has been a year of milestones for the project – we’ve endorsed a Development Framework for the area and started enabling works on Temple Island. We appointed masterplanners last week to develop the next iteration of plans for the area, and now we’re stood in front of a new entrance being delivered as part of the first major improvements to the station in 100 years. This is a fantastic point to reflect on the progress we’ve made and look forward to the delivery of new homes, jobs and opportunities,” he added.
Much of the money for the regeneration around Temple Meads station - some £94.7 million of it - has come from a Government investment through Homes England. The eastern entrance alone will cost £23 million. The Government and local politicians said sorting out the area around Temple Meads station is key to then kickstarting the investment in building thousands of new homes slightly further out in the Temple Quarter regeneration area, which stretches from the sites on the other side of Temple Way, including the Grosvenor Hotel, for example, all the way deep into the industrial estates of St Phillips Marsh and The Dings.(Image: Paul Gillis/Bristol Live)
“I’m delighted to see the progress on the new Eastern Entrance for Bristol Temple Meads – a crucial milestone towards an exciting future for our station,” said Daniel Round, the industry programme director at Network Rail. “Alongside renovations that will preserve the station as an important part of the city’s heritage for future generations, the Eastern Entrance will place it firmly at the heart of Bristol’s new Temple Quarter regeneration.
“The Eastern Entrance building will start to take shape next year and will open in 2026 following completion of the University of Bristol’s Enterprise Campus. The Eastern Entrance is a forerunner to the planned Southern and Northern entrances, and radically improved retail options that will help make the station a world class gateway to the city by 2030,” he added.
- ^ University of Bristol (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ Marvin Rees (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ Bristol City Council (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ Questions over Temple Quarter's public spaces after phone ban 'fiasco' (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ University to meet residents over student-fuelled housing crisis concerns (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ Bath (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
- ^ Filton (www.bristolpost.co.uk)