There are a number of issues when buying property in Portishead that are particular to the area – Portishead Marina, the old sea walls, the wildlife refuge area, and the pipeline, for example.
But the biggest impact on our local lives, will come from the re-opening of the Portishead rail branch line, which forms part of the Metro West Phase 1 project. Metro West is formed from the four local former Avon councils with North Somerset Council as the lead, now involving a large fully committed team. The overall project includes proposals for half-hourly train services for the re-opened Portishead line, Severn Beach line and local stations between Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa. The journey time between Portishead and Bristol is then projected to be 17 minutes.
Full information is available on the Portishead Railway Group website and membership of this excellent and interesting organization is highly recommended and well worth the modest £10 per household per life outlay.
Work has started on clearing vegetation along the disused section of Portishead’s railway line this month. A great deal more remains to be achieved before the project reaches its destination, with construction to commence in 2017 and for completion to be in May 2019.
The location of the new railway station is still to be reached. This has been the subject of considerable consultation. A site near Waitrose, opposite the new Lidl car park, had long been ear marked for this and was the preferred option. With the old line dissecting what is now Quays Avenue this requires a level crossing which Network Rail would not agree to. Public consultation went ahead last summer on three further site options termed 2A 2B and 2C, of which 2B, a site across Quays Avenue, was the option most favoured by local people. This would require some modifications to the road to realign Quays Avenue and the creation of a new junction at Haven View. Portishead Town Council, however, still wishes to have the station on the original site, and a special case for the level crossing approach is currently with the Office of Rail Regulation. The issues with this concern the volume of traffic at peak times, when approximately 600 cars an hour use Quays Avenue. A level crossing would cause this traffic to stop four times an hour. Ninety one per cent of people who responded to the consultation said they would use the station, regardless of where it was located in the town.
For more information:
At the last AGM of the Portishead Railway Group attendees were also privileged to view an amazing time lapse video of Portishead by Ben Maliphant. It is highly recommended, and already has had over 6,000 views : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67hFQQz3kek