Portishead to become a Little Venice?

TURNING Portishead and Pill in to a Little Venice is just one of the ideas suggested by North Somerset District Councillor David Shopland to help alleviate traffic congestion on the A369 out of Portishead.

TURNING Portishead and Pill in to a 'Little Venice' is just one of the ideas suggested by North Somerset District Councillor David Shopland to help alleviate traffic congestion on the A369 out of Portishead.

Speaking at a Portishead and North Weston Town Council meeting, Cllr Shopland said: "If you dam the river Avon and create a weir I can see no reason why water taxis could not be used for commuters.

"This would allow people not only to reach central Bristol but continue as far as the St Anne's area of town. It would be much cheaper and more environmentally friendly than re-opening the railway line."

Another idea from the councillor is to build a bigger bridge, accommodating traffic over the M5 at Portbury, where a footbridge currently stands, taking Bristol commuters away from the M5 junction 19 roundabout where the traffic builds up and sending it through the village of Portbury.


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Councillor Shopland's suggestions come at a time when Portishead Railway Group, a group campaigning for the re-opening of the railway line between Portishead and Bristol, is celebrating the signing of a contract to carry out the necessary feasibility study.

Members believe re-opening the railway line is the best way to take traffic off the roads and to provide transport for the increasing number of people moving into the town.

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Chairman of the Railway Group, Alan Matthews, said: "The feasibility study will provide a significant step forward for the campaign to re-open the railway line.

"There have been suggestions that to re-open the three mile section of line from Portishead to the existing line would cost up to £30million.

"This is highly unlikely, as opening 18 miles of track in South Wales, with more than the one signal we need cost £30million. The next step is for us to obtain more accurate figures."

A section of land near to Waitrose has already been allocated for the town's station and North Somerset Council is currently considering the purchase of the three mile section of track.

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