Rail investment vital to Bristols Enterprise zone

4th May 2012
Rail investment vital to Bristols Enterprise zone

At the launch event of the enterprise zone today, Network Rail shared its rail vision in redeveloping Bristol Temple Meads into a world-class railway hub.

Patrick Hallgate, route managing director for Network Rail said: “We warmly welcome the launch of the enterprise zone today. A robust rail infrastructure is vital to a thriving economy and the rail industry is poised to support Bristol with an integrated rail strategy.

“Bristol Temple Meads is located right at the heart of the enterprise zone and is among the busiest and fastest growing rail interchanges on the Western route, receiving more than 9m passengers on average every year. Redeveloping the station into a world-class rail gateway, with excellent rail links, will be significant to help position the new business district as an ideal location for investment, whilst boosting economic growth and catering for growing rail demand.”

The rail strategy, also supported by West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, aims to expand the station to ease congestion and provide excellent connectivity to London, the South West, Wales and the North. In addition, it plans to increase train services to cater for the forecast 44% growth in passenger number in Bristol over the next ten years.

A high-level feasibility study, led by Network Rail, is currently being carried out to determine the validity of this proposal, which is subject to government funding.

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It includes:

1. Station capacity improvements to ease current and predicted passenger congestion

- A new eastern station access to ease congestion and provide a convenient link across and around Temple Quarter

- A light and airy subway extension under the existing forecourt to provide a welcoming environment and improve retail opportunities for local businesses, whilst preserving the vistas of the historic grade 1 listed structure.

2. Redevelopment of the Digby Wyatt shed to reinstate two disused platforms, bringing the shed back to its former usage, accommodating additional train services.

Complementing this proposal, Network Rail also recommends a number of infrastructure enhancements to provide additional capacity, improved journey times and operational flexibility on the railway around Bristol.

These recommendations include remodelling of a key junction into the station area, additional infrastructure on the line to Bristol Parkway and line-speed improvements to the south west.

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