Conservative councillors are calling on Bath and North East Somerset Council to look into alternative locations for a reopened train station in Saltford.
The village’s local councillors Mathew Blankley and Francine Haeberling have backed the idea of reopening a train station in Saltford as part of the planned Greater Bristol Metro project. However, local residents have raised concerns that the site of the former station, closed in 1970, is no longer suitable due to the lack of space for parking and problems with access from the busy A4.
A report commissioned by Bath and North East Somerset Council into the feasibility of reopening Saltford Station concluded that its viability depended upon the provision of adequate parking.
As a result, Conservative councillors have pressed B&NES Council’s ruling Liberal Democrat Cabinet to investigate what alternative sites could be used for a new train station in the area. Conservatives have said that the Council should look into what site would be most easily accessible and serve the largest number of people.
During the debate on the Council’s Core Strategy development blueprint last week, a Conservative amendment was accepted which called on the Council to investigate all possible locations for a new Saltford Station.
Councillor Francine Haeberling (Cons, Saltford), who moved the amendment at the Council meeting, said:
“The difficulty with the site of the former Saltford station is that it doesn’t have much room for parking and is right on the A4. This would inevitably result in cars parking on nearby residential roads and would require a new junction on the A4 at the bottom of Bath Hill.
“If it proves viable, a new train station for Saltford as part of the new Greater Bristol Metro project would make it quicker and easier for local residents to get into Bristol and Bath and access the national railway network. But we must ensure the plans meet with the approval of local residents.”
Cllr Mathew Blankley (Cons, Saltford) added:
“We don’t have a firm view on where a new station should go, but it should be easily accessible to as many residents as possible whilst causing the least disruption to local residents. We’ve already secured agreement from B&NES that they will consult residents on the plans and hope the Council will now look into what options are available for local people to consider.”