Sign up for a rail link

PEOPLE in Portishead are being urged to sign a petition pressing for the town's railway link to be restored. The Portishead Railway Group is appealing to local residents to log on and sign up to the online petition at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/portishead

PEOPLE in Portishead are being urged to sign a petition pressing for the town's railway link to be restored.The Portishead Railway Group is appealing to local residents to log on and sign up to the online petition at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/portisheadrail.The petition was set up by local resident Mike Sperring who in his plea to Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: "House building is sky high, population is sky high, motorway capacity is sky high and pollution is sky high."A railway line already exists, the demand already exists and the solution is to replace three miles of track and build a station."The petition, which closes on November 24, has already attracted 889 signatures.Pressure to re-open the rail link is continuing to mount with the Portishead Railway Group trying to pinpoint actual costs for the re-opening of the line.Land has already been earmarked for a station at Harbour Road and developers have also put aside a rumoured £1million to help with the costs of reinstating the link.If the railway line, which is included in the North Somerset Local Plan document, was to re-open it would run from the town to Pill before joining the main line at Ashton.It would then go to Parson Street, Bedminster, before stopping at Temple Meads.Portishead Railway Group chairman Alan Matthews urged people in the town to put their name to the petition.Mr Matthews said: "The section of line which needs to be relaid to get the line operational is just 3.2 miles."Over the past months as a group we have been trying to get the actual costings to get this line open."We need the people of Portishead to continue to get behind us and call for the re-opening of the railway line and need everyone to go on line and sign this petition."Portishead is a growing town and the Government needs to see that residents are serious about getting the line re-opened."Rail operators estimate that it would take 30 minutes to get from Portishead to Bristol on the train."When you think it can take commuters 30 minutes to get from the town centre to the motorway, it just proves just how important this transport link is."Portishead currently has a population of nearly 20,000. But this is expected to rise to more than 30,000 as a result of the massive regeneration of the docks.The Portishead to Bristol railway line opened in 1867. It ran until 1964 when passenger services were stopped. Freight continued to run for a while but was also stopped in 1981 when the line closed.


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