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.
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’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.