Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport was today joined by the Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority and the Secretary of State for Transport along with other project partners to open Bristol’s first new railway station in almost a century.
The new £5.8 million Portway Park & Ride station was launched today (Monday 31 July), ahead of its opening to the public tomorrow (Tuesday 1 August).
A small crowd assembled to see invited guests step off the train from Bristol Temple Meads onto the new platform, having ridden the first train to pull into Portway Park & Ride.
The single platform station, between Shirehampton and Avonmouth, connects the existing park and ride site with the Severn Beach railway line.
It is the first station to be opened as part of the first phase of the West of England Combined Authority’s wider plans to enhance the local rail network through the ambitious multi-million-pound MetroWest programme. This will include opening seven new railway stations, re-opening train lines and enhancing cross-Bristol services.
When the station opens to the public, passengers will be able to access half-hourly services between Bristol Temple Meads and Avonmouth, and an hourly service to Severn Beach.
It complements the existing park and ride bus service and will be a useful extra transport option for the local community, as well as providing park and ride users from further afield a rail option to destinations along the Severn Beach line or for onward travel on the wider rail network from Bristol Temple Meads.
On the day Bristol City Council also took the opportunity to launch its newly expanded park and ride facility, which has seen the total number of free parking spaces increase from 555 to 792. Plans are also in the pipeline to reconfigure the entrance to the site so more buses can access it from both directions.
Councillor Don Alexander, Cabinet Member for Transport and Councillor for Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston ward, said:
I am incredibly proud and delighted to open Bristol’s first railway station in 96 years. Portway Park & Ride station will offer local people and commuters an efficient and sustainable travel option. Having boosted the number of free parking spaces at our park and ride site, it offers commuters more options to park up and catch a train or the bus.
Completion of the railway station highlights the commitment of Mayor Marvin Rees’ administration to developing modern and accessible travel solutions. As we look toward a future of improved connectivity through a mass transit system, Portway Park & Ride railway station is a key step on our journey towards a better connected Bristol and South West.
We are grateful for the support and collaboration of our project partners and eagerly anticipate the positive impact this station will have on our city, as we now look forward to Ashley Down railway station opening too.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris, said:
Passengers are pleased that the new Portway Park and Ride Railway Station is opening – the first new station built in this incredible city since the Roaring Twenties.
Delivering for local people is what our multi-million-pound Reverse Beeching programme is all about.
This is undoubtedly a good day for Bristolians and the West of England region, and I’m proud it’s been made possible by a substantial £3 million-plus investment from my West of England Mayoral Combined Authority.
But this is just the beginning. We need to press ahead with work to give even more residents access to new stations as we strive to meet our ambitious West of England net-zero-by-2030 targets
I urge locals to come and catch a train from the brand-new Portway Park and Ride Station.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper, said:
Today’s opening of Portway Park and Ride Station is the latest example of this Government’s plan to invest in infrastructure and grow the economy.
It will provide a boost to Bristol and its surrounding area by improving local transport links while connecting passengers to business hubs and thousands of high-skilled job opportunities.
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.
Joe Graham, Business Assurance and Strategy Director at Great Western Railway, said:
We are delighted to be operating services from the new Portway Park & Ride station offering customers regular trains to and from Bristol Temple Meads twice an hour with a journey time of 25 minutes.
Situated alongside the M5, this new station will provide a great alternative for those travelling into Bristol city centre or wanting to connect with the wider rail network.
The Portway Park & Ride station project was led by Bristol City Council working with the West of England Combined Authority, Network Rail, GWR and the Department for Transport.