Delayed Station Study to Happen in 2017

June 2017 We have been in recent contact with Bristol City Council who confirm that their new rail improvement feasibility study, incuding Ashton Gate station, is being scoped out with a view to be undertaken in the financial year 2017/18. The study was postponed from last year in the light of severe constraints on the Council’s budget. Council officials are hopeful that the work will get underway soon. We will continue to meet with them to help ensure this and to keep abreast of progress. Bedminster councillors Mark Bradshaw and Celia Phipps have summarised the current situation in the latest edition of The South Bristol Voice and all local councillors remain fully behind our campaign.

Council Confirm Scope of New Station Study

November 2016 – Bristol City Council have issued a statement confirming their new study into the feasibility of various rail enhancements in the city including a new station at Ashton Gate. You can read the statement by clicking here.
The study is now due to commence early in 2017 and be completed before the end of the year.
The Council’s consultants will look at a number of potential developments to our rail infrastructure and service ranging from improved journey frequencies; a new examination of the Henbury Loop; new stations at Ashton Gate, Lockleaze and St. Anne’s and identify the best ways of delivering the projects.
The study team are keen to talk to local organisations, businesses and interest groups such as ours. We hope to have our first meeting to press the case for Ashton Gate soon.

New Station Study to Commence in October

October 2016 – In February, Mayor George Ferguson and his cabinet (supported by all political parties on the Council) allocated £50,000 from this year’s capital budget to fund a new study and  business case for an Ashton Gate station. Our group, Friends of Ashton Gate station  presented a petition with over 5,000 signatures asking for a new station at  the  Council meeting in January. (The last consultant’s study  for Bristol City Council concluded that there would be insufficient passengers to justify a new station).
Since Marvin Rees took over as Mayor in May, the Friends have met a Council transport officer and Councillor Mark Bradshaw (Cabinet Member in charge of transport) to discuss progress with the business case. The Council now plan to proceed with the business case study appointing new consultants from a list approved by Network Rail to carry out a more far reaching study to start in the next couple of months. The Council intend to consult local business particularly Bristol Sport and the Friends of Ashton Gate Station in October prior to the start of the study to ensure accurate and up to date local information is used in the calculation of future passenger forecasts.
Bristol City Council have sent us a footprint plan of the station (see here) which will allow a station which includes a bay platform and spur line for terminating trains (ie football specials travelling to and from the Ashton Gate stadium.

Mayor Commits to a New Station Business Case

February 2016 – The Friends of Ashton Gate Station recently met with George Ferguson, the Mayor of Bristol. Mr Ferguson expressed his full support for the creation of the new station and his belief that the previous project feasibility study did not address the particular circumstances of the area. He confirmed that a new Business Case study will be made during the financial year 2016/17.
 
The study will look specifically at the demand for the station predicted by local organisations and employers such as Babcock, Imperial, UWE and Bristol Sport. The Mayor expressed his desire for a station that will meet the match-day demands of the new Ashton Gate stadium. He will ensure the new study brief takes this requirement into account and makes recommendations for an appropriate station design as well as solutions for associated operating issues.
 
The Friends of Ashton Gate Station are pleased with this outcome. We will monitor the progress of the study and continue to lobby for the station. We remain confident that a positive business case will be demonstrated and the station will be built.

Council Support Call for New Station

January 2016 – On 19th January, the full Bristol City Council debated our petition calling for a new station at Ashton Gate. Members of the campaign team were in attendance and addressed the meeting. We are delighted that every Councillor who spoke was in favour of our objectives and congratulated us on the level of public demand we had demonstrated. Support for the campaign came from across the political spectrum and the debate was widely covered in local media. We are now very confident that the Council will soon confirm that a new Business Case for the station be prepared without delay.

Roger Bealing, Secretary of the Friends, said ‘There is strong support for a new station from local businesses and residents. We are grateful that the Mayor and his Cabinet have responded to that public support and last week approved £50,000 for work on a new business case for the station. This budget proposal will be put to the February City Council meeting for approval. We will be urging City Councillors to support it’

You can see the Bristol Post coverage here and Radio Bristol’s Facebook piece here.

Petition Delivered to the Mayor of Bristol

December 2015 – The Friends of Ashton Gate are delighted to have delivered a petition of over 5,800 signatures to the Mayor and City Council of Bristol. The petition calls for the provision of the new station as a part of the MetroWest rail development programme. This very considerable level of public support means that the Council will now debate our objectives at their meeting in January. The size of our support has also helped the Mayor decide to recommend that £50k be budgeted for a new Business Case to be prepared for the station in 2016. This is excellent progress for the campaign as a positive Business Case is a pre-requisite for the funding of the new station.

4,000 Sign Station Petition

Oct 2015 – Over 4,000 people have added their signature to our petition calling on the Mayor and City Council of Bristol to provide a new station at Ashton Gate. With Bristol City and Bristol Rugby supporters joining the campaign, support is coming both from local residents, businesses and workers as well as from sports fans living in the West of England and beyond who think the station is an important part of expanding the football stadium and supporting local businesses.

The campaign team are delighted with the response and will soon prepare the petition for the Mayor’s response and to have the new station debated by the Council.

 

Council Agrees With Consultants

Feb 2015 – Bristol City Council has issued a statement following the publication of its High-Level Assessment report of a new station at Ashton Gate. The Council accepts the report’s conclusion that there is an insuffficient business case for the new station to be included in the first phase of the MetroWest railway development programme. Local councillor and Cabinet member for Transport, Mark Bradshaw, says that further work needs to be done to develop the case for the station. He says that Network Rail have issued assurances that they will do nothing to prevent the station from being built in the future. You can read the statement in full here.

Local Businesses Support Us

Apr 2015 – A number of prominent local organistions and businesses have already pledged their support for the new station campaign. The latest to do so is Bristol Sport, the umbrella company for Bristol City and Bristol Rugby and the developers of the new Ashton Gate stadium. Bristol Sport reckons that in the first year of operation one million people will attend matches, functions, conferences and exhibitions at the new stadium and exhibition centre. What better way for them to travel to and from the venue than by train!

Other businesses and organisations are signing up to the campaign. We will announce them here from time to time or you can see their names on our Supporters page.

 

Consultants Say Not Enough Passengers

Jan 2015 – A report for Bristol City Council by consultants CM2Hill concludes that only 213 passenger trips would be taken in 2022 from a new Ashton Gate station if it were built. This number of passengers would be insufficient to achieve a cost benefit score of 2:1 (benefits twice costs) required by the Government for funding transport schemes though usage by visitors to the new Ashton Gate stadium have been ignored. Go to the Consultant’s Report page to see it and our summary.