Metro mayor welcomes Saltford station study

PLANS to reopen a “much-needed” railway station at Saltford have taken a key step forward.

At a meeting of the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) committee on January 26, local political leaders voted to spend £100,000 to investigate proposals for four new stations at Saltford, St Annes Park, Ashton Gate and Lockleaze.

Dan Norris, who heads WECA, said at the committee: “I am delighted by the new station study, which includes, for the first time, Saltford. And I am really pleased that that is something we are hopefully going to move forward on now.

“It’s something I have felt I felt strongly about for 25 years or so, ever since I was first the MP for that area, and nothing has changed — in fact, the need for it has increased.”

Deputy leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Sarah Warren, added that the station in the village was “much-needed.”

Saltford used to have its own station but it fell to the Beeching axe in 1970.

Dan Norris discussed the possibility of reopening Saltford station when he met Duncan Hounsell, Saltford ward councillor, and Jon Godfrey, chair of Saltford Parish Council, in December. As previously reported by the Voice, the two councillors said their talks with Mr Norris had been productive.

Councillor Hounsell said: Cllr Hounsell said: “The creation of WECA and then large-scale changes to railway timetables have meant that previous studies had become out of date.

“The new WECA study will consider the feasibility and business case for Saltford. The station project is now back on track and I thank the mayor for his support.”

Cllr Godfrey said: “The meeting was very positive. The mayor spoke about all needing to work together to make a Saltford station happen and I endorse that approach.”

WECA recently approved £9.66 million for reopening the Portishead Line, with new stations in Pill and Portishead. North Somerset Council gave its unanimous backing to the scheme in January, and it is hoped work could start in August once approved by the Department for Transport.

Unlike Portishead, trains are already running through Saltford and the three locations in Bristol, but there are no longer any stations for them to stop at.

John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporting Service, and Voice reporter

Pictured, Saltford railway station in the 1960s Image copyright: Saltford Environment Group