MetroWest still hopeful of 2021 completion

Of the total cost of £101.2 million for Bristol’s MetroWest project (£58.2m for Phase 1 and £43m for Phase 2), £98.7m has now been sourced, leaving a current shortfall of just £2.5m.

Some £81.4m will come from the Government’s Devolved Major Schemes process, and £1.7m from Regional Growth Fund monies. These costs include a 30% optimism bias, in line with Department for Transport regulations.

Of the £2.5m shortfall, £1.3m is in connection with Phase 1, which will be addressed in the compilation of the outline business case that is due for completion by November 2015.

This first element of the MetroWest programme proposes to deliver a half-hourly local service on the Severn Beach line (hourly for St Andrews Road and Severn Beach stations), on the Bath to Bristol line, and on a re-opened Portishead line.

The Devolved Major Scheme capital funding for Phase 2 will only be available in 2021/22, and “therefore opening the scheme in 2021 will be a significant challenge”, the West of England Joint Transport Board was told at its meeting on December 12. It might be possible to draw this money early, or to borrow funds until it is available.

  • For more information, see RAIL 764, published on December 24.


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