Prospects for a parallel tunnel at Parkway

Photo of bridge.
Single-lane traffic scheme at Parkway railway bridge (2020).

As previously reported, the current temporary shuttle lights at Parkway Bridge are opposed by the three South Gloucestershire ward councillors for Stoke Gifford.

One of the three, Brian Allinson, has repeatedly called for an additional tunnel to be constructed through the railway embankment, alongside the existing bridge.

Asked what progress has been made in exploring the possibility of building a separate, parallel tunnel dedicated for use by pedestrians and cyclists, a spokesperson for South Gloucestershire Council said:

“We have applied to the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) for £50k as part of the North Fringe Master planning work currently taking place and will be carrying out an economic assessment to evaluate the costs and benefits of an underpass at Parkway Bridge.”

“This work will determine how best to obtain future funding and we are expecting the results of this report to be ready later this year.”

“The overall solution needs to be aligned to the North Fringe and Parkway area master planning work, with consideration given to access to Parkway Station and the surrounding areas being taken into account.”

“Following this work, further funding may be sought from Weca to produce an outline business case.”

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Delivery Plan

Weca’s Ten-Year Rail Delivery Plan states:

“Previous study work concluded a subway for pedestrians and cyclists would provide the most cost effective and deliverable solution. Whilst not directly a rail scheme it would have major benefits for cyclists and pedestrians accessing Bristol Parkway station. Given the scale of works required there are potential cost savings to be made by linking it to other rail scheme line possessions and by re-evaluating the design and construction methodology. The proposal could form the first part of a wider northern gateway redevelopment project for the station area to improve the passenger experience and maximise the benefits of IET services to London Paddington and South Wales and MetroWest.”

The plan categorises the Parkway scheme as one which “could come forward”, within a 5-10 year timescale.

Related link: Ten-Year Rail Delivery Plan [PDF] (Weca)

This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 6). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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