Hundreds sign petition for Henbury loop train line to be included in Bristol Metro plans
BRISTOL North West MP Charlotte Leslie has lobbied rail minister Simon Burns to make the case for the proposed Henbury Loop line to actually be a loop.
Hundreds of supporters have already signed Ms Leslie's petition calling for the proposed new rail track to be extended.
The campaign, being organised by Ms Leslie and local councillor Chris Windows, is calling for the so-called Henbury Loop to be extended from a spur to make a full loop.
The new line is part of the plans for the Bristol Metro network and under the current scheme service would end at Henbury rather than connecting to the Severn Beach line and the rest of the network.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
The existing line is currently used by freight traffic but campaigners want it to also be opened to passengers.
As previously reported in The Post almost £1.8 million of investment has been approved by Bristol's mayor George Ferguson to prepare for work on reopening lines and stations in and around Bristol by the end of 2015.
The rest of the project will be funded by central government and it is estimated it will take up until 2023 to complete in its entirety.
Phase One of the Bristol Metro – including half-hourly trains to Severn Beach and the reopening of the Portishead line – could be completed by 2017/18.
Reopening the Henbury line and additional stations at Horfield and Ashley Down is expected to be completed in Phase Two.
Ms Leslie said: "We believe that a Henbury spur would be a disastrously missed opportunity of a generation.
"A Henbury Loop would not only be well used, it would transform Bristol's transport infrastructure."
She added: "We should be making the strongest possible case for the need for a loop rather than a spur line."
Several hundred people have already signed the petition and there is growing support for the campaign.
Ms Leslie said: "Petty party politics have held Bristol back for too long.
"We organised a meeting for the city and region's MPs with Rail Minister Simon Burns to specifically make the case for a 'loop not a spur' line."
She added: "I have been fighting for this with local campaigners for so long.
"So I was absolutely delighted that the minister listened to the case I put forward, and as a result will do a proper feasibility study for the case for the Henbury Loop line.
"But now we need to demonstrate there really is huge demand for this.
"I am pressing our mayor, George Ferguson, to use his influence too in the matter.
"We all need to speak with one voice – residents, businesses, young people, the elderly, to say we need a Henbury Loop Line."
The campaigners say the loop would connect Henbury with Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Sea Mills and North Bristol.
And they claim communities such as Shirehampton have lost out on facilities and need to travel to use swimming pools and leisure centres.
They also claim the rail line would help to ease congestion on the roads of north Bristol and South Gloucestershire.