Growth in train use proves rail case
THERE is no doubt that urban rail should play a significant part in Bristol's transport network of the future, as this newspaper has campaigned for some time. And the existing network of tracks that already runs along the bottom of many Bristol gardens should provide the foundation upon which a Bristol Metro will be built.
Certainly, a joined-up, decent urban rail network has never looked more likely. After years of campaigning, trains should run to Portishead from 2017. And, a year later, services to Yate and Henbury should be upgraded.
As part of that upgrade, we also believe that the Henbury Loop should be re-instated to connect Henbury to the Severn Beach line and open up the possibility of services to Shirehampton, Avonmouth and Cribbs Causeway.
Anyone who doubts the power of urban rail should look at our story today about the Severn Beach line.
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This year, the line will top more than a million rail journeys, its operator First Great Western has announced.
This proves that the demand for urban rail services is there and it is growing.
But we must continue to meet this demand with a commitment to cheap, half-hour services from every station in our area.