Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft

Comment ID 8129057//1
Document Section Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead PH3 View all on this section
Respondent Deleted User View all by this respondent
Response Date 18 Apr 2013

I would like to express comment in relation to the re-opening of the Portishead railway line and options for the location of Portishead railway station.

Section 1 of the evidence paper talks about the Portishead toBristolcorridor (A369) suffering congestion as it crosses junction 19 of the M5.  I would have agreed with this statement before traffic lights were installed at this junction but since then there has been very little traffic congestion and my journey time from Portishead to Bristol varies between 25 and 30 minutes and this begs the question that in time of austerity why is the council still considering spending several million pounds on re-opening a railway line that has become a “nice to have” rather than essential?

In addition, the bus service toBristolhas recently been improved and now provides a service intoBristolevery 15 minutes rather than every hour which should increase the number of people travelling by bus and the frequency with which they do so.

I have never been asked my opinion on the railway nor whether or not I would use it, has any study actually been undertaken to ascertain potential use?

With regard to the three options for the siting of the station I comment as follows:

Option 1

The siting of the station by Waitrose is obviously the best location with easy access on foot and cycle for many commuters travelling out of Portishead.  One of the key objectives of the scheme is to increase the number of visitors into the town in order to boost the local economy in addition to encouraging new businesses whose work force could access their place of work from the station, Option 1 is the best place for this.

The problem with the proposed road layout atQuays Avenueshould be given further detailed consideration.  Surely some ‘out of the box’ thinking is required here in relation to the proposed road design.  Could the track bed of the railway line not be lowered to go some way to reduce the level of any ‘flyover’?  Has the option of an underpass been considered whereby the track bed is raised slightly and the road passes beneath it?

Even though Option 1 appears to be the most expensive option, surely it would be best to spend a bit more and get the station in the right location rather than scrimp now and regret it later when we are left with a service which is underused.

Option 2

Siting of the station atQuays Avenueas an alternative is not ideal however, it does keep commuters within a more realistic distance from the town.  If the proposed ‘Gateway’ could be developed from the station into town this would provide an attractive approach for visitors wishing to use the shops and restaurants at theMarinaas well as the High Street andLakeGrounds.

I don’t think that a pedestrian crossing overQuays Avenuewould cause a problem, the crossing beside Waitrose which is an equally busy road does not seem to cause any safety concerns.  It is used heavily at certain parts of the day when parents park at Waitrose and walk their children toPortisheadPrimary school.  If safety is a concern with such a crossing atQuays Avenue, could a footbridge or an under pass not be considered?

Option 3

This option is situated on green belt land.  Government policy dictates that to develop green belt land it is necessary to prove that there is no alternative option.  Surely Option 3 is a non-starter on this basis alone as there are alternative options available.

The fact that this location is 1.3km from the town centre will mean that it will significantly reduce the number of potential users of the train travelling out of Portishead who can access either by cycle or on foot.  The impact of this should also not be under estimated for visitors into Portishead.  One of the key objectives is to attract people to Portishead to use the facilities/shops/restaurants at theMarina, High Street and lake grounds, they are not going to want to walk over a mile into town or catch a bus once they arrive.

Housing next to the proposed station is directly opposite and in extremely close proximity to the proposed platform and would be severely impacted by way of noise, smell, fumes and loss of privacy. 

Further, Sheepway is a narrow B road that in places is only suitable for single file traffic, it should not be used for this volume of traffic.

I can’t see how Option 3 can remain as an option as it fails to meet the project criteria but if a ‘Parkway’ type option is to remain it should be located further along the track towards Bristol away from residential properties completely.

Can the land at the other end of the field beside the bridge which currently goes over the railway, not be earmarked for Option 3 instead?  This would not impact upon local residents, would reduce costs due to the length of track which would not need to be replaced and reduce costs of the new road as it would be a considerably shorter distance to travel from Sheepway to the car park.

In Summary, location 3 is too far out of town to be a realistic option, location 2 is not ideal but could work if safe, but location 1 is still the best option and meets all project criteria.