The campaign to reopen Saltford Train Station has taken a major step forward following the announcement that a new ‘City Deal’ has been struck between Government and the four local authorities in the West of England.
The new City Deal for Bristol and the surrounding area will give councils in the West of England, including Bath and North East Somerset, greater control over delivering transport improvements in the area. The announcement also unlocks millions of pounds of funding by allowing councils to keep the revenue raised from Business Rates collected from the West of England Enterprise Areas and enabling them to borrow against future Business Rates revenue.
This funding will enable the delivery the proposed Greater Bristol Metro rail project, which includes plans to reopen Saltford station.
Saltford’s councillors Mathew Blankley (Cons) and Francine Haeberling (Cons) have welcomed the news as a big step forward in the campaign to reopen the village’s train station.
Cllr Mathew Blankley said:
“The announcement of the new City Deal could signal a step-change in the delivery of much-needed transport improvements and other infrastructure projects for our area, not just for Saltford but the whole of B&NES and West of England. This opens the door to allowing the Council to access funding needed to invest in local transport schemes, including Saltford Station. This is a big step forward for the Saltford Station campaign, and we hope that B&NES really grasps this opportunity with both hands.”
Cllr Francine Haeberling added:
“This announcement brings reopening Saltford Station one step closer to reality, but it also means that B&NES must now begin a full consultation with local residents on the proposals. There are many issues which need to be addressed, including parking for the station and the impact on nearby residents, traffic on the A4 and access to the station. The Council has been given a way of funding the project, but it must now engage local people to work out how it could best be delivered.”