Services on Bristol to Severn Beach line could increase to three trains per hour

More frequent services could provide a boost to Bristol’s economy
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Services on the Severn Beach railway line could soon become more frequent with three trains running per hour.

The suburban railway route goes through a large part of the city but currently trains only run twice every hour, limiting the number of potential passengers.

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Transport experts at the West of England Combined Authority will begin exploring what upgrades are needed to the railway to allow trains to run more frequently. The combined authority is expected to sign off spending £100,000 on the project on Friday, January 26.

More frequent services could provide a boost to Bristol’s economy, as well as help tackle climate change by getting more people onto public transport and reducing private car journeys and congestion, according to a report going to the combined authority meeting.

The report said: “This project will look at the feasibility and business case for operating increased services on a number of lines in the region, for example two to three trains per hour on the proposed new Henbury line and three trains per hour on the existing Severn Beach line.

“This will take advantage of work currently being undertaken by Network Rail to assess the feasibility of an uplift in capacity on our sub-regional branch lines. Modelling work suggests the service uplifts would drive significant economic and decarbonisation benefits, including improved access to employment.”

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The Severn Beach line stops at Temple Meads, Lawrence Hill, Stapleton Road, Montpelier, Redland, Clifton Down, Sea Mills, Shirehampton, Portway Park and Ride, Avonmouth, St Andrews Road and Severn Beach. Services only became half-hourly in December 2021.

It’s unclear if the project will explore increasing service frequency south of the river. Trains to Bedminster and Parson Street still only run hourly, although technically these stations are not on the Severn Beach line.

The proposed new Henbury line will stop at two new stations at North Filton, near the new arena, and Henbury. The line could eventually be made into a loop and join the Severn Beach line north of St Andrews Road.

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