Karin Smyth MP criticises Tory Government for delaying decision on Portishead branch line yet again

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has criticised the Tory Government for delaying the decision on the Portishead branch line yet again until February 2023.

The re-opening of the Portishead branch line is a key part of the MetroWest project which will link and upgrade the railway system in Bristol and the surrounding areas.  Karin Smyth has campaigned on this issue since she was elected, yet a final decision on the Portishead branch line application has been pushed back a number of times by the Tory Government, with subsequent knock on delays to a potential re-opening date.

The re-opening of the Portishead line will have a real positive impact on Bristol South. Traffic congestion on the roads will be reduced as capacity on train services running through the constituency are increased, giving constituents more options for greener travel, and more frequent train services will also better connect communities in Bristol South, driving up economic growth.


Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said: 

“The reopening of the Portishead Railway will create so many new opportunities for public transport in South Bristol, so it’s bitterly disappointing that a decision on this branch line is being delayed time again by the Tory Government.

“Our roads in south Bristol get badly congested with commuter traffic and on match and event days, with capacity on current train services coming through Bedminster and Parsons Street overstretched.  It’s vital this investment into our railway services is made to take more people off the roads and onto rail to reduce traffic and improve air quality, giving people more options for greener travel.

“A greater number of rail connections to the centre and out into North Somerset will also help make our communities better connected, offering wider job opportunities and boosting the economic recovery of the area following the pandemic.

“Continuing delays will undermine this economic recovery and harm our ability to effectively tackle climate change in the constituency.  We need this decision made now, and this investment in our rail system must just be the start.”