Bristol’s congestion problems can be eased with an ambitious rail strategy including a series of new stations across the City such as in Horfield.

The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) already has plans to improve services along the Severn Beach Line, on the Bath-Bristol Line and to re-open the Henbury Line in 2021 – but by working together as a region, we can be more ambitious.

I want to see us maximise the use of our suburban rail lines around Bristol. We need a non-road based transport solution and opening up additional stations like one for Horfield would get commuters off the roads and onto rails.

We need to be thinking about the next phase of Bristol’s rail improvements. I want to see a re-opened Henbury Loop with new stations to serve it. An underground isn’t remotely feasible but developing our existing infrastructure is.

Let’s bring forward new stations at Horfield & St Annes in Brislington – all of which I know we are already considering, but let’s look further.

We have so much rail potential. Let’s deliver the Henbury Line, deliver a Horfield station and look outward for further rail opportunities.

In an effort to stress these options I took the Regional Mayor, Tim Bowles, to North Bristol to see for himself. After which he said: “I am committed to improve our transport network and thanks to devolution, we are being more ambitious about our plans with the support of the Secretary of State. I’ve lived here for over 30 years and we’ve always had congestion – it won’t be solved overnight but by working together as a region, looking at all the options available to us, we can take the steps needed to tackle it. We are exploring innovative light rail options in the region and I hope it will open up further opportunities to re-connect more communities to our railways.”