A bid to secure improvements at Pilning station is among a number of schemes submitted to the Department for Transport’s Ideas Fund for restoring lost railway services to communities. Ten projects were successful in the first round of bidding (none in the Bristol or South Gloucestershire area), and bids for the second round closed on 19 June 2020. The Pilning bid is centred on reinstatement of the station footbridge, which was controversially demolished by Network Rail in November 2016 to make way for overhead electrification wires, cutting off access to the westbound platform and rendering the station’s service “one way only”. Reinstatement of the footbridge, above the overhead lines, would enable a two-directional train service to be restored at the station, and would pave the way for future much-needed service improvements.
Despite its reduction to two trains a week (Saturdays only) in only one direction, the station’s recorded usage has leapt up by a staggering 900% since demolition occurred, indicating clear demand for a more frequent service. This would be a real boon to a locality poorly served by public transport, and would improve access to nearby leisure and employment opportunities in an area earmarked for regeneration. The station is not far from The Wave inland surfing centre which opened in 2019, and is also conveniently placed to serve the Severnside industrial area.
Pilning Station Group Chair Olga Taylor said, –
We are delighted to see our bid included on the “long list” of projects for potential Ideas Fund support, which would be a major boost to our campaign. We shall now eagerly await the announcement of the projects that have been successful, which is expected to come at the end of the summer.
DfT Terms and Conditions can be found here
PSG Application can be viewed here