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Saltford Environment Group
  towards a sustainable future for our village

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Artistic impression of Saltford Station by Joe Ryan. Saltford Environment Group 2011.

SEG Home > Saltford Station Campaign

Saltford Station Campaign

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A reopened Saltford station will be of greatest benefit to Saltford's younger generation.
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Campaign News

Saltford railway station back on track?

December 2023

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Cllr Duncan Hounsell, Saltford ward councillor (right of photo), and Cllr Jon Godfrey, Chair Saltford Parish Council (left of photo), met the West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris to discuss a re-opened railway station at Saltford on 14th December.

The West of England combined authority (WECA) led by Mayor Dan Norris has sole responsibility for strategic transport issues in our area. WECA is expected to commission a new stations feasibility study which will include considering the case for a station at Saltford in March. Dan Norris re-affirmed his positive view about a station at Saltford and said he would approve the funding for this study.

Cllr Hounsell said "The creation of WECA and then large-scale changes to railway timetables have meant that previous studies had become out of date. The new WECA study will consider the feasibility and business case for Saltford. The Station project is now back on track and I thank the Mayor for his support."

Cllr Godfrey said "The meeting was very positive. The Mayor spoke about all needing to work together to make a Saltford station happen and I endorse that approach."

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Reopening of Saltford Station sought in response to WECA's "congestion raising" proposals for the A4

September 2023

Saltford Parish Council has responded robustly to the WECA proposals for the Bath to Bristol A4. Key points made by SPC in its comprehensive response to the consultation included a direct preference to re-opening Saltford Station:-

  • For a true scalable and integrated transport system, Saltford Parish Council is resolute that a greater utilisation of the GWR and MetroWest railway service is the obvious choice and solution to achieving the aims the proposals seek, supported by the re-opening of stations like Saltford Station and offering train travel at affordable prices. Reopening Saltford Station must be an integral part of any consultation and package to address road congestion and pollution on the A4 Bath to Bristol Corridor.

SPC's comprehensive response to the consultation can be found on the SPC from this link.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Saltford residents can find out about the 'A4 Bath to Bristol' travel consultation, at a drop-in event arranged by WECA at Saltford Hall on Tuesday 19th Sept between 2-7pm.

Concerned Saltford residents have also arranged a public meeting at Saltford Hall for 7pm Saturday 23rd September 2023.

Consultation for the A4 Bath to Bristol stretch is open between 21 August and 1 October 2023. If you want to see the proposals from WECA and, if you wish, provide an online response, visit haveyoursaywest.co.uk.

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Saltford Councillors meet with WECA and B&NES officials at station site

April 2022 (updated June 2022 & Sept 2023)

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SPC and Ward Councillors (Cllrs Chris Warren, Phil Harding, Jon Godfrey and Duncan Hounsell) met with transport officials from the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and B&NES Council on 22 April at the station site to summarise the case for re-opening the station on the existing site and to discuss the SPC request for WECA to fund the 70K feasibility study.

WECA's David Jarman advised the meeting that any decision on a feasibility study for Saltford would need to await the outcome of the current Greater Bristol Strategic Rail Study involving Network Rail and GWR; the study report would include new station options and was due around the end of May when a copy would be supplied to B&NES Council.

UPDATE (Sept 2023)
Network Rail's Greater Bristol Strategic Rail Study report was published in February 2023. Disappointingly the recommendations and proposed next steps did not include any reference to a new station at Saltford (or any other new stations that are not already planned for) but there is a reference to the future possibility of 4-tracking between Keynsham and Bath Spa.

The station campaign is aware that some people in the rail industry do not want to have another local commuter station on a main-line to Paddington. However, whilst detailed technical studies would be required, a 4-track line in some places between Kensham and Bath Spa may provide space for trains to stop at a re-opened Saltford Station whilst goods trains and the fast inter-city trains to and from Paddington get past local trains unhindered further up or down the line. A possibility for the station campaign to bear in mind during future discussions and lobbying.

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SPC seeks station support funding from WoE Mayor

March 2022

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At its 1st March 2022 meeting Saltford Parish Council (SPC) resolved to write to West of England Mayor Dan Norris to ask the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to fund the 70k required to enable the proposed feasibility study to go ahead as soon as possible. The letter was sent on 13th March.

Benefits of a re-opened Saltford station include:

  • Helping address the significant road congestion concerns along the A4 Bristol-Bath corridor
  • Complement MetroBus+
  • Encourage commuter traffic onto sustainable public transport
  • Assist in futureproofing against extreme congestion in the years ahead
  • Contribute to carbon reduction and achieving Net Zero

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Earlier station campaign news stories

Earlier news stories and pictures from the start of SEG's campaign can be found in our Campaign Archive >> (new page).


Briefings

Ward Cllr Duncan Hounsell's talk given on 5th January 2020 at Saltford Hall includes useful background information on the campaign to re-open Saltford Station. You can download the text here:-


Older briefing papers (for reference) can be downloaded here (each paper opens in a new window):-

* Early campaign paper (illustrated) from 2012 promoting and stating the environmental, social and economic case for reopening the station.


Campaign poster

You can download from here a one page poster to print off and stick in your window:- Saltford Station - Let's bring it back! poster (pdf, opens in a new window).


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Background to the campaign and strategy

39% of the respondents to the 2009 parish questionnaire, when road fuel prices were significantly lower, said they would be likely to make regular use of a rail service from a reopened Saltford station.

Saltford station was closed in 1970 when significantly less people lived in Saltford. Early in 2011 the government announced it was going to electrify Brunel's Great Western Mainline from London Paddington through to Cardiff, i.e. a significant infrastructure project resulting in electric trains running through Bath, Keynsham and Saltford.

Saltford Environment Group saw this as a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity for Saltford that was too good to miss. Electric trains mean faster acceleration and deceleration leading to quicker timings and gaps in the timetable for reopened stations. Electrification and the simultaneous re-signalling of the line can provide the capacity for local trains to stop at Saltford.

Saltford Environment Group felt the time was right to start a campaign to get our station back. From our observations of public statements and our own discussions with key senior members of Bath and North East Somerset Council (the leader, Paul Crossley, and the cabinet member for transport, Roger Symonds) it was clear that they shared our view too. Railways are about the future of transport, not just the past.

With the ever increasing cost of private motoring, a reopened station gives the residents of Saltford a vital and environmentally friendly transport asset that will help 'future proof' the village against future price rises in oil and thus road fuel. Many residents commute to Bath, Bristol, London and beyond. Saltford has quite a large student population who attend universities all over the country. Many people visit the village; a railway station will give people the option to visit without using the car.

The Saltford Station Campaign team made representations to the West of England Partnership (WEP) Joint Transport Executive Committee concerning the inclusion of Saltford station in the Greater Bristol Metro project. The Greater Bristol Metro project successful bid to the Department of Transport in June 2012 included half hourly trains between Bristol and Bath and the reopening of Saltford station.

We see the station as a real asset primarily for the local community, not a vast 'Park & Ride' arrangement although we recognise that a reasonable amount of car parking should be provided for the station to be economically viable. The design and facilities of the station will need to respect the character and environment of our village and be sensitive to the quality of life for those residents living nearby.

Saltford's residents will be able to access the station on foot as there is a comprehensive network of footpaths that the Victorians put in place when the station was opened on 12th December 1840.

At its busiest, Saltford station employed 12 porters. It would be great to have our station back serving the village community as it did once before.

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Our strategy

An important approach for SEG with this campaign has been to maintain a dialogue with Bath and North East Somerset Council and Network Rail as well as with local politicians (Saltford Parish Council and our local MP).

Network Rail's publication "Investment in Stations - A guide for promoters and developers (May 2011)" is a framework that provides information on the principles and processes for those wishing to reopen stations on Britain's rail network and has helped guide our campaign.

Involving the active support of residents in this campaign has been crucial. In addition to working with local media and the production of promotional materials (posters, stickers etc), we organised a village petition of all households in November 2011.

The agreement by B&NES Council to be the station "promoter", to fund and engage experts to work with Network Rail and the rail operator to build the business case (a 'High Level Option Assessment') for reopening Saltford station, was a major milestone reached in June 2012, as was the inclusion of Saltford station in the Metro West project at that time.

Our website provides a focal point informing all stakeholders of progress with the campaign to reopen the station. We publish our campaign news and plans on our website and periodically in the bi-monthly editions of SCAN (Saltford Commmunity Association News) that is delivered to all households.

If you want to see earlier stories from the start of the campaign including details of the petition visit our: Campaign Archive Page

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Friends of Saltford station

Concerned about the environmental impact of the station once it's built?

SEG are very keen to stress that a new station built on the old station site must be sensitive to the quality of life for people living in the immediate vicinity.

We are not proposing the replacement of the existing eye-sore - currently the old station site looks like an industrial storage site - with a station that looks out of place with our beautiful village. Our archive & photo gallery for the original station (link) shows what an important part the station has played in village life in the past and we wish to see a modern re-creation of this community asset.

In addition to our wish to be actively consulted on the design of a new station, our early thoughts are that it would be beneficial to our community well-being if a "Friends of Saltford Station" group was set up as a formal or informal support group that can help develop pride in our new station by

  1. helping to keep the station looking attractive, clean and tidy, and
  2. taking an active interest in the station's place as a positive asset for our village.

Members of SEG's Campaign Group held an informal meeting (January 2012) with the Severnside Community Rail Partnership (website link) which works with local communities to deliver:

  • community based improvements to local stations
  • more friendly, welcoming and safer stations
  • better passenger information at local stations and about local train services

Once our station is built, the Severnside Community Rail Partnership has said it will actively support a Friends of Saltford Station Group.

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Image copyright information. There were six original 1948 Nationalisation era Saltford station signs or 'Totems' at the station site. This digital image of the Saltford station totem 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).

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Saltford Environment Group
W3C compliant website

See our campaign page on facebook >>

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Click on totem for image copyright information

Page Links:-

Campaign News

Earlier Campaign News Archive incl. petition (new page)

Briefings

Campaign Poster

Background to the campaign and strategy

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (new page)

Existing site & artistic impressions (new page)

Historic Archive & photos of original station (new page)

Friends of Saltford station

Contact the Station Campaign >>
(via SEG's home page)

What if...

...visitors had the option to arrive in Saltford by train?

...I could guarantee getting to work or other destination on time by train, instead of agonising about the traffic on the road?

...motoring and bus travel becomes much more expensive and we haven't got a local option to travel by train?

...free bus passes are withdrawn and we've missed the chance to get our station back?

...a train station meant you didn't need to run a second car?

...congestion on the A4 increases but we had missed this opportunity to get our station back for local commuters?

...the chance to create a safer crossing point on the Bath Hill was missed?

...you could leave the car at home and travel to your destination from Saltford by train?

...the station site was sold for a non-transport related purpose?


What would a reopened Saltford Station mean to you? Here are some typical comments from villagers who replied to our petition follow-up survey of daily users (Feb/Mar 2012):

"An extra 12 hours or more a week with my son. In addition, I currently spend in excess of 60 a week on parking. My journey is so often delayed due to road congestion that I am unreliable with my employer and my family commitments."


"The train would substantially reduce my travelling time (approx 1hr 30 mins or more by bus) and would increase my quality of life! It would probably give me 2 hours a day that I could spend with my family!"


"My journey can be dreadful after 8am making me late occasionally for important clinical duties. A station at Saltford would cut commuting time and get me walking more for a healthier life-style."


"It would be heaven, much quicker, less costly, working day reduced by 2 hours, more sustainable and environmentally friendly. The whole family would use it."


"I would run only one car rather than two. Life would be less stressful since I would not have to drive to and from work... I would be helping to reduce traffic congestion."


"Very isolated in Saltford if you do not have a car or money. College / work / social life - only if you pay a fortune to First Bus!"