The long-awaited reopening of the train line between Bristol and Portishead has taken another important step forwards after ministers gave the green light for works to get underway (today Monday 14 November)
Planning permission and necessary environmental consents have been granted by the approval of a Development Consent Order.
This follows the additional funding agreed in July by the West of England Combined Authority, led by Metro Mayor Dan Norris, and North Somerset Council for the reopening and makeover.
Metro Mayor Norris, who leads the West of England Combined Authority, said: “The last time you could catch a train along this line was before a man walked on the moon and the Beatles were taking America by storm. So I’m pleased to have passed another important milestone. This is a project long in the making and undoubted there will be more bumps in the road. However, this important thumbs up keeps us firmly on the right track, and means the hard work of physically bringing this rail line back to life can begin. This is a really important project that will see communities in south Bristol and across our city reconnected to Portishead and help in our vital quest for net-zero.”
The DCO decision follows an agreement between the West of England Combined Authority, North Somerset Council and the Department for Transport in the summer to plug a cash hole for the project by collectively pledging £35.5m in additional funding to the project.