Re-opening is now going ahead as a key part (Phase 1B) of the MetroWest project which will link and upgrade the railway system in the Bristol area. Providing an initial frequency service to Portishead (1 train per hour with 2 in peak times)
A Stage 2 Public Consultation on the project to re-open the Portishead line ran from 23 October to 4 December 2017. Over 1000 responses were made. A report on the consultation was published in July 2018.
The revised cost of the Portishead line project is now £116.4 million, of which £69.5M was secured leaving a funding gap of £46.9M. But see below…
The project is considered to be a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, so requires a Development Consent Order so as to attain the planning powers to build and operate the project.
On 4 Dec 2018 North Somerset Council’s executive approved a further £1.4m towards the next stage in the reopening of the Portishead to Bristol rail line. The funding will be used to complete all detailed documentation for the submission of a Development Consent Order (DCO) to the Government (done in November 2019).
In February 2019 North Somerset Council agreed to allocate up to an extra £15M of regional funding from the Economic Development Fund, reducing the funding gap to £31.9M. See News 20 Feb 2019.
On 8 April 2019 it was announced that the funding gap of £31.9M has been closed. All of the funding necessary is now in place.