In September 2015 the WECA Joint Transport Board confirmed the decision to progress with the Henbury Spur as part of MetroWest Phase 2 – but with the recommendation that the Henbury station be designed to permit conversion for a loop service if so required at a future date.
In November 2015, two options for Henbury station location were put out to consultation
- Henbury West – west of the A4018 Wyck Beck road and east of Station Road, on the site of the old Henbury Station
- or Henbury East – immediately east of the A4018
The results of the consultation showed the public to be equally split between the two options (41% of respondents preferred the West site and 40% the East site). As support for the sites was near equal, design options continued for both. Network Rail considered the merits of the two locations through a Station Location Advice Note (SLAN).
Eastern location chosen
In February 2018 the West of England Joint Committee officially noted the decision by the MetroWest Rail Programme Board to progress Henbury station to the next stage of design and development at the East location.
The main reasons for Henbury East selection according to the minutes:
- Better provisions for existing and proposed developments, such as station car parks/drop off areas, access to recreational facilities and pedestrian/vehicular access and egress to the area.
- Limited implications on existing assets.
- Opportunity to standardise station layout with North Filton.
- Limited likelihood of dealing with contaminated land.
- Ground conditions potentially have a lower risk of settlement/consolidation in the construction phase.
- Limited overall risk profile. Track drainage offers a relatively higher capacity, minimising risk of degrading track beds.
- Off-track drainage avoids interaction with existing system, limiting alterations with existing assets.
- Fewer existing structures that could constrain the design process, in particular platform alignment/layout and signal sighting.
- If a spur service is in place and the service terminates at Henbury East station there is no impact with the A4018 or B4055 overbridges.
- Lower costs – Henbury East: £9.04m – £10.04m versus Henbury West: £9.9m – £11.0m (However the report also states: ‘It should be noted that ……as the scheme progresses through further GRIP stages the anticipated final cost will be further refined; cost may therefore go up or down’. )
- Greater ability to provide a loop service without needing to purchase third party commercial land.
The main problem with a West site is that the cement works on the south of the track would have to be (compulsorily) purchased to provide the other platform that a loop service would require – at considerable cost and risk of scheme delay. At the East site, the land required for the other platform would be owned by Bristol City Council – so no such problems.
Photo: Henbury East station site, taken from the overbridge on the A4018 (Wyck Beck Road). The spur station will be built to the left (north) of the tracks.