Saltford Environment Group
Artistic impression of Saltford Station by Joe Ryan © Saltford Environment Group 2011
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Saltford Station Campaign
Click on these questions listed here to find the answers lower down the page.
When is it likely to happen?
If funding is agreed, the station could be reopened within 5 years.
How likely is it to happen?
The likelihood of the station reopening is increasing all the time. The important factors are the Metro West project and forming a convincing business case. In March 2021 WECA made a bid to the Department for Transport's "restoring your railway (RYR)" fund to develop the business and feasibility case for opening a station at Saltford as part of the MetroWest project. B&NES Council is acting as official "promoter" of the Saltford station project and is working towards the re-opening of the station on the existing site.
How much will it cost and is it good value for money?
We are expecting a simply built basic railway station with two platforms. The latest estimates (February 2014) are around £4M for a two platform design. The track, signalling and land will be there already.
The Benefit/Cost Ratio (BCR) for a station on the Bath Hill site based on a "High Level Output Assessment" (HLOA) completed in autumn 2014 by consultants CM2Hill was calculated at a "reasonable" 2:1 based on 20% contingency and standard assumptions about platforms. This means that for every £1 invested there is a "monetised" benefit to society of £2. This is before more generalised environmental benefits are factored into the BCR calculation. The business case for a re-opened station on the existing Bath Hill site is a good one. For example, the initial BCR for High Speed 2 from London to the Midlands was only 1.4. A BCR of 2:1 already reaches the threshold for the DfT to consider funding.
It is anticipated that the funding for the capital works is likely to come mainly from a combination of funding from the Department for Transport, the train operator and Network Rail whilst B&NES Council may be expected to pay for some aspects of the scheme.
What will it do to my Council Tax?
According to the Public Transport team at B&NES (November 2012), B&NES does not pay subsidies to train operating companies to stop at specific stations.
What will happen to the cycle path?
The cycle path is unaffected. The cycle-path follows the line of the old Midland Railway, a different line altogether.
Will it mean fewer buses?
The X39 is on a "showcase" bus route from Bristol to Bath running up to every 12 mins. The opening of a railway station in Saltford will not affect the number of buses on this route. Indeed, there may be more local buses that call at the station. Also the majority of station users are likely to be those switching from commuting by car.
What about the traffic hazard turning in / out of the station on the hill?
There are excellent sight-lines for drivers on the A4 at this location so hazard risks should be no greater than for any other turning into or out of the A4 but, with careful design, risks can be minimised. We are encouraging access to the station to be by foot, cycle, bus or taxi with a drop-off point for cars and small coaches.
The solution for safe road access could be with a simple mini-roundabout, additional lane or traffic lights for example. Either could reduce vehicle speeds making the A4 safer at that point without unduly restricting the flow of traffic. The key objective for highway engineers tasked with designing road access to the station would be to reduce not increase accident risk or congestion.
Parking is already a problem in the village - will this make it worse? Where are they all going to park?
There is already a parking problem with people leaving cars all-day and travelling by bus or car-sharing. People accessing the recreational activities such as the river will no longer need to bring a car to Saltford as they will have the convenient option to come by train.
Parking can be controlled in neighbouring streets by having residents parking only or restricted weekday parking. For example, there could be a one-hour commuter-parking zone that operates between, say, 11.30am to 12.30pm, Monday to Friday. These restrictions could apply on the roads near the station.
The station is likely to have a large car park as the site is so large. Any proposals to add additional car parking facilities close to the site, if that was deemed necessary, would require planning permission and it would be appropriate for the Parish Council to be consulted on proposals for car parking facilities before final decisions are made.
Where will existing residents adjacent to the site who park their cars on the site, park their cars once the station is opened?
We feel it would be reasonable for them to be able to retain their current parking arrangements. If station access is traffic-light controlled, the consultants do not see the need to remove the garages by the entrance to The Shallows (traffic-lights overcome the issue of sight lines).
I can use Keynsham station, why does Saltford need its own station?
Keynsham does not serve Saltford which has a population of 4,200. Other communities that Saltford Station can serve are Corston, Newton St.Loe and the Bath Spa University, Newton Park campus.
What does Network Rail think about it?
They have no objection in principle.
What is Network Rail's GRIP process?
GRIP stands for "Governance for Railway Investment Projects" and is Network Rail's "approach to managing projects in order to minimise and mitigate the risks associated with delivering projects that enhance or renew the operational railway and projects in a High Street environment."
The 8 GRIP stages are:-
I've heard this all before with the bypass - what's different this time?
The difference this time is that the environmental and social cases are strong; reopening the station fits with the aims of local and national government, railway travel is increasingly in demand, and a station is much cheaper than a by-pass. A regular half hourly metro-style commuter shuttle train between Bristol and Bath is already planned as part of Metro West once the main line has been electrified. It makes great sense for a commuter train to stop at Saltford and not simply pass through.
I support the bypass - will this initiative undermine that campaign?
Quite the opposite. Non-highways solutions ALWAYS have to be considered before building new roads. The studies on the reopening of Saltford station can help to "tick that box". The station and a by-pass are not mutually exclusive. The station gives our village an alternative transport choice.
Saltford Environment Group's Committee has published a discussion paper on a road bypass for Saltford. This can be downloaded from our "Green Belt" page from this link:
How does reopening Saltford station compare in cost to a local by-pass?
A rail station at Saltford is estimated to cost in the region of £4M to £5M whereas a local by-pass south of Saltford was estimated in the Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study 2006 to cost £72M (the study cited high construction costs of a bypass scheme due to the difficult terrain).
Does the campaign listen to the views of those who have concerns?
Yes. The campaign recognises that any re-introduction of public transport infrastructure is likely to raise some local objections or reservations. We consider it helpful to hear the views of those residents who have concerns so that we can make representations to B&NES Council to ensure that the overall design and implementation of the station can mitigate or overcome any potential problems as much as possible.
The station campaign wishes to maintain a friendly and positive relationship with the minority of villagers who are not in favour of the station and we are keen to maintain a dialogue. It should be recognised that our objective is to do what is best for the wider community and that we have no hidden agenda.
Can I use the Saltford station campaign logo?
The digital image of the 1948 Nationalisation era Saltford station sign was created by and belongs to Saltford Environment Group. It should not be copied or used without the prior-permission of SEG's Station Campaign. If you wish to use it please send details of your proposed use with your request (our contact email address is on the home page).
© Saltford Environment Group
Whilst making every effort to provide accurate information and advice, SEG cannot accept liability for the accuracy of the information on this page which is provided in good faith to help inform all those with an interest concerning the re-building of our railway station, whether they are for or against.