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December 2018 Update

During the past few days, there have been a number of important announcements and decisions made by MetroWest, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and North Somerset Council.

The latest commitments by our four local authorities are in response to Chris Grayling’s letter of 2nd October about MetroWest and funding for the Portishead line.

WECA and North Somerset are demonstrably continuing to work closely together, with a number of new legal agreements being put in place to ensure this continues. Together, they are directing MetroWest to continue with the DCO submission and continue the quest for the additional £47 million funding. Extra funding of £500,000 from the Local Growth Fund has been committed, as well as an additional £1.4 million from North Somerset.

This allows work to continue on Phase 1A – the Severn Beach and Bath line – and on Phase 1B the Portishead line through to Spring 2019.  

The notes below summarise all the recent correspondence and reports from the Department for Transport, WECA and North Somerset. They are detailed and somewhat technical as the MetroWest project is far more complex and difficult to deliver than anyone might expect.

The FAQs and news pages may be helpful and the full WECA & NSC Joint Committee report can be found as item 12 here >>  (PDF 180 pages!)

1. Chris Grayling’s response to Liam Fox:

The MetroWest team’s workload is now focussed on addressing the points raised in his October 2nd letter, as well as completing work on the DCO. Chris Grayling said:

2. MetroWest benefits were restated by WECA & NSC:

2a. National & Regional:

2b. Local:

2c. Financial:

                  BCR    Revenue (1st 3 years)

Phase 1 combined 3.61    - £2.15 million

Phase 1A             4.85    - £3.78 million

Phase 1B             2.15    + £1.63 million

2d. Risks:

   This risk is shared as follows:

Bristol 30%    BANES 15%    South Gloucs 5%    North Somerset 50%

3. DCO Delayed:

Planned submission date is now April 2019 because:

4. Next Steps:

All the following steps were approved at meetings in late November and early December:

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