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Ashley Down railway, Bristol | by brizzle born and bred
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Ashley Down railway, Bristol

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Would you like to see Ashley Down rail station reopen?


2011 - A STUDY could be carried out to examine the possibility of reopening a former railway station in Ashley Down.


Residents will be asked to decide if council money should be spent on looking into the case for reopening the Ashley Hill station at the bottom of Station Road.


The station closed in 1964 after serving passengers for 100 years on the Bristol and South Wales line.


Bishopston councillor David Willingham says money could be spent on a feasibility study to establish if residents would like to see the station rebuilt and reopened.


He made the suggestion after Ashley Hill was earmarked as a possible new station in the West of England Joint Local Transport Plan for 2011-26, which was finalised earlier this year.


The Liberal Democrat said researchers from Bristol University or the University of the West of England may be able to carry out the study for a few thousand pounds.


The former Ashley Hill station is on the main line between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway, and is between Stapleton Road and Filton Abbey Wood stations.


The stretch of track is due to be electrified as part of the £1 billion plans to electrify the route between Cardiff and London.


Mr Willingham, a member of Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways, said: "Residents living next to the railway would suffer days and nights of disruption because of the electrification works and will get nothing back – just trains which run straight past them.


"At the moment, the closest station residents have got is Montpelier. As a council we have very little power with regard to delivery but this is a wonderful aspiration."


Mr Willingham said the benefits of reopening the station would need to be demonstrated against the cost, estimated at up to £3 million.


The idea of funding a feasibility study using part of a £30,000 Wellbeing grant was discussed at a Bishopston Neighbourhood Forum last month.


Mr Willingham said a recent survey of residents living near the cricket ground in Nevil Road revealed that 80 per cent of them were generally supportive of the idea of reopening the station. He said: "It's about getting our MP, the Department for Transport and local people to support it but first we need to prove it's feasible. There's no point getting behind something that can't be done. If we can spent £5,000 of our Neighbourhood Partnership money to show there's a business case for it, it would be money well spent.


"The cricket club would quite like it and the City of Bristol College would benefit because, at the moment, students can only get to it on the number 70 bus.


"It's in the transport plan so we've got a reasonable mandate for trying to put it forward and encouraging people to believe it's achievable and worthwhile."

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Taken on April 21, 2012