Council to finalise Full Business Case for Portishead railway line

The proposals, which will be heard at the Full Council meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, January 9) will give the leader of the council and Executive Member for Major Infrastructure Projects, Cllr Mike Bell, authority to finalise the case ready for submission to the Department for Transport (DfT).

The business case submission is expected to take place at the end of next month.

The line, one of the Department for Transport’s Restoring Your Railway projects, is part of the MetroWest programme. 

Since securing the Development Consent Order to build the line, detailed design has been underway. Additional funding has also been sought to tackle inflation across the construction industry.

Speaking further about the project, Cllr Bell said: “By connecting 50,000 residents back into the rail network, the Portishead to Bristol line stands to be transformative for both North Somerset and the region. 

“Not only would it provide better connections for Portishead and Pill, but it would offer green alternatives to getting around, cutting road traffic with expected train journeys of just 23 minutes.

“Submission of the Full Business Case is an impressive feat and the result of years of hard work and effort. In delegating authority to finalise the business case, the Council can play its part in achieving a February submission to the DfT. 

“We’d like to thank our partners at West of England Combined Authority and Network Rail for their role in preparing the Full Business Case to date. We look forward to continuing work together as the project progresses.” 

The TravelWest website[1] details further benefits of bringing back the line: "Upgrading the train service for the Severn Beach Line, the Bath Spa to Bristol Line, and reopening the Portishead Line to passenger services is a priority for the West of England’s local authorities.

"It will increase the UK’s passenger rail network by 14 kilometres (9 miles), connect an additional 50,000 people to the rail network and improve the existing train service for 180,000 people within 1 kilometre of existing stations."

If approved by the Department for Transport, Portishead line will be brought back to Full Council in summer 2024 to agree the release of funding set aside for the scheme by North Somerset Council.

This would be in addition to funding approved by the Department for Transport, as set out in the Full Business Case. 


  1. ^ The TravelWest website (