Tony Dyer, parliamentary candidate for Bristol South for the Green Party, has slammed the huge hike in the cost of the proposed re-opening of the Portishead line. Mr Dyer - who has campaigned for a station at Ashton Gate to be part of the re-opened line - is dismayed at the adding of a massive £100m to the bill.
He said 'This is the latest in a long line of transport related projects in the Bristol area that have either been the subject of lengthy delays, considerable increases in costs or both. From Metrobus to the Portishead Line via delayed Electrification and the dropping of the Henbury Loop, the Bristol area has become the graveyard of public transport ambitions. This seemingly unending catalogue of failure calls into question the professional competence of those overseeing projects of this nature.'
Mr Dyer added 'We have already seen with Metrobus how the levelof contribution from local tax payers has increased substantially compared to initial estimates - we now need clarity as to who will bear any additional costs for the extra work identified for the Portishead Line, indeed if such money is actually available at all.'
Southville Green councillor Charlie Bolton added;
'The ever increasing pressure placed on theroad system due to the lack of a modern, energy efficient and low emissions public transport network can be measured not just in the delays and financial loss due to trafficcongestion but also in the impact on Bristol's air quality and all those who have seen their health suffer as aresult. This is simply not good enough.'
In fact, it is only a couple of days since the cabinet approved proposals for council housing on former allotment land at Ashton Vale which would include the safeguarding of land to provide a station for Ashton Gate. Councillor Bolton added;
' If, as appears to be the case, the Portishead Line will now see a reduction to an hourly service then we need to see the delivery of a station at Ashton Gate as an integrated part of that.'