Has anyone actually asked yet?

A campaign to reopen the rail line from Bristol to Portishead.

Hmm. Has anyone asked whether anyone in Bristol wants to go to Portishead? And whether they’d like anyone from Portishead to come to Bristol?

27 thoughts on “Has anyone actually asked yet?”

  1. If there is a campaign, doesn’t that infer that somebody in Bristol wants to go to Portishead by rail? Whether or not such a facility would be commercially or even socially viable is another matter.

  2. Not necessarily Kevin.

    I’ve seen lots of people pushing for more funding for public transport who never use it themselves.

    They want *other* people off *their* roads.

  3. There’s also a lot of nostalgia. Kind of a “Golden Age of Deltic” or something.

    The fact that a line might not be in any way shape or form profitable is Someone Else’s Problem.

  4. Used to go from a quaint little ‘side platform’ at Temple Meads out of the way of everything else. The platform that time forgot, or something.

    Or was that Weston-Super-Mare? Been a while since I went to either.

    But aunt June lived in Portishead. And they had a Lido down there. Still do, I’ve just googled.

  5. Most train lines have intermediate stops. So people in Bristol, even if they don’t wish to go to Portishead, may well wish to stop at Westbury on Trym or Shirehampton. And who could resist the pleasure of passing by Avonmouth without stopping?

  6. Does anybody want to go from (to) Bristol to (from) Portishead? Well there’s a road between the two places, Google Streetview shows lots of cars on the road. I guess the answer is YES.

  7. Andrew C: Or was that Weston-Super-Mare?

    Is that really a place?

    I always thought that Weston Super Mare was the wife of Champion the Wonder Horse!

  8. Or was that Weston-Super-Mare? Been a while since I went to either.

    Severn Beach? The place which makes Weston look like Malibu.

  9. @Rob

    Yes. Severn Beach. A 2 carriage train. Probably the one assigned to drivers who are disabled or dead (although they’re still no doubt earning £250k a year for “safety reasons”).

    A quick bit of googling finds:

    “by far the most popular attraction was the Blue Lagoon swimming pool, built in the early 1930s. Severn Beach soon became known as “the Blackpool of the West”. It was always known to Bristol people as “Severn Beach on the mud”.”

    Blackpool of the West?? WTF were they slipping in people’s cider?

    Or, I suppose, the simple fact that people expected and were satisfied with less in those days?

  10. ‘Blackpool of the west’.

    Seriously? You mean the place lying slightly further east than what should presumably be called the Blackpool of the north (aka Blackpool)? The Blackpool that lies on the west coast?

    At least I have evidence that they myth of dumbing down is seriously overstated now.

    And as the existence of Blackpool itself confirms, people were satisfied with a lot less in those days.

  11. If Bournemouth is the Malibu of the South Coast, as said by the mayor, then perhaps Weston could be the Everglades of the West

  12. I used to catch the Severn Beach train from Temple Meads and get off at Montpelier and trudge my way up to Nevil Road to watch the mighty ‘Shire play cricket back in the early 90s. I was often the only person on the train, apart from the driver. I’m surprised its still running. The joys of watching Bill Athey grind his way to a 50 in about 2 sessions…….at least there was Syd Lawrence and Courtney Walsh to terrorise opposing batsmen.

  13. Not too far away some non trivial amounts of money have been thrown at the idea that people from Melksham might want to go to Swindon by train and vice versa.

    Meanwhile … flying to Glasgow from Bristol is less than ¼ the cost of taking the train.

    Portishead does have something to recommend it though – they’ve taken away some traffic lights and seen a consequent reduction in congestion and accidents….

  14. Portishead is that wierd bit where the local authority boundary runs along the shoreline so the town is in one council area and the beach and pier are actually in Bristol. Must make for problematic planning applications.

    As for the railway line, it’s at least still there, just needs testing and re-opening.

  15. Bloke in Costa Rica

    My nephew briefly lived in Portishead (after moving from Clifton for some bizarre reason). Apparently it was a godawful dump. He soon saw sense and moved to Wiltshire.

  16. “I’ve seen lots of people pushing for more funding for public transport who never use it themselves.

    They want *other* people off *their* roads.”

    Having a railway station improves house prices.

  17. California is spending billions to build high speed rail between Fresno and Shafter, to be part of an eventual link between San Fran and Los Angeles.

    People think building infrastructure is great for the economy. Sometimes yes, frequently no. At least they aren’t demanding TGV Bristol-Portishead.

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