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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 26 February, 2003, 15:10 GMT
Fury as rail link is axed
Freight train
Freight trains were reintroduced to the Portbury line four years ago
People living in Portishead near Bristol who have waited years for a promised rail link to the city have now been told a cash shortfall means it will not be opened.

The line from the city to the Royal Portbury Docks near the North Somerset town was re-opened to freight two years ago.

Many people bought homes in Portishead believing a passenger link would follow, for the first time in 40 years.

But now North Somerset Council, which included the move in its 10-year transport Plan, has been told by the Strategic Rail Authority that any funding to open the line has been withdrawn.

Mike Rowe of North Somerset council said: "We're extremely angry as a council.

"We believed we had a deal struck with central government in that we would be taking large numbers of houses here in Portishead on the basis that a rail infrastructure would be put in place by funding from central government.

"They've now reneged on that and pulled the plug on this funding."

Mike Rowe
Councillor Mike Rowe is angry at the decision
North Somerset Council has now written to the government, demanding funding for the rail link.

It has said thousands of new homes have been built at Portishead on the promise that trains would soon be calling there.

A spokesman for the Strategic Rail Authority said it had been forced to cut its grants to save money.

New trains for Docklands
12 Sep 02 |  England

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