Station footbridge installed

A 65-tonne footbridge has been installed as work progresses on Bristol’s Ashley Down station.

Network Rail engineers worked in shifts from Christmas Eve until the early hours of December 27  to put in the bridge over the tracks at the new two-platformed station on the Bristol to  Gloucester line.

The station is due to open later this year and will be served by the Temple Meads to Filton Abbey Wood hourly service. It’s part of the Metro West programme which will be extended once more new stations open at North Filton and Henbury.

The next stage at Ashley Down was set to begin on January 22, as Bristol City Council began work on the open space in front of the station, including installing an accessible route to the entrance. 

West of England Mayor Dan Norris has described the new station as a “reverse Beeching” as it will take the place of Ashley Hill station, which opened in 1864 and shut in 1964.

 Transport campaigners are pushing for improved links between bus and rail services by the time the new station opens.

Friends of Suburban Railways Bristol (FoSBR) said in a statement to the council in January that the current lack of integration of services was wholly inadequate. There are bus stops in the area, but they are too far away to provide a proper interchange. 

They are calling for more bus stops to make it easier for people travel on from Ashley Down to Southmead Hospital, Lockleaze and Eastville. 

Fosbr said: “We believe a culture shift is needed which prioritises public transport and disincentivises the over-reliance on the car that we see today in Bristol. 

“We urge full council to support a robust means of governance and partnership with transport providers, co-operating with the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority and contributing transport levy and CAZ income to boost public transport and in particular to streamline the provision of rail-bus interchange, starting with Ashley Down and extending to all West of England rail stations.”