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Starring Role for Bristol Temple Meads

Bristol Temple Quarter

Ambitions for Bristol Temple Meads to become “a world class rail interchange” for 22 million passengers each year are part of new plans published for the future of the railway station and surrounding areas. Stretching from Temple Meads to the Paintworks, the Temple Quarter area, which encompasses much of St Philip’s Marsh, could see up to 10,000 new homes built. The area around the station “will be rejuvenated with housing, shops and hospitality outlets creating a new area of the city where people can live, shop, visit and socialise”. The plans for Temple Quarter and St Philp’s Marsh are being developed by Bristol City Council, Homes England, Network Rail and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA). But despite the bold plans, work is not expected to start for another decade with the expected completion not until 2041 at the earliest.

The northern side of Bristol Temple Meads today – photo: Martin Booth

Plans for Temple Meads includes “renewing its historic features, increasing platform capacity, more space for people to move around the station and new concourse retail and ticketing facilities, (which) will significantly improve the passenger experience”. An “integrated transport hub” with connections for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users will be located by the northern entrance by the Friary, where a new concourse will be created in the Midlands goods shed. Improved public spaces surrounding the station aim to make it a much more enjoyable place to travel through and visit.

Station Square CGI – image: Bristol Temple Quarter

Temple Meads ‘southern gateway’ CGI – image: Bristol Temple Quarter

Temple Meads Goods Yard public space CGI – image: Bristol Temple Quarter

Temple Meads Midland Shed CGI – image: Bristol Temple Quarter

Mike Gallop, Wales & Western interim managing director of Network Rail, said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners on this significant regeneration project and Bristol Temple Meads station is at the heart of this vision. Our plans to develop the station will support future growth by providing a brighter and more welcoming environment, enabling an increase in the number of trains able to run through the station and providing a gateway directly into the Temple Quarter area. This is an exciting time for Bristol and the wider West of England as the railway undergoes a major transformation and represents a major investment in sustainable transport in the region.” Within walking distance of Temple Meads, longer term aspirations for St Philip’s Marsh and Mead Street are “to create a series of sustainable mixed-use neighbourhoods that are integrated with the surrounding east Bristol communities”.

Proposals include ambitious plans to build thousands of homes in St Philip’s Marsh

– CGI: Bristol Temple Quarter

Currently backing onto the River Avon Path on Albert Road near Sparke Evans Park

are light industrial units – photo: Martin Booth

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees said: “We want the area to become a blueprint for city regeneration that is done in the right way, by meeting the needs of our growing city, as well as those of local people, businesses and the environment. “This transformative project will help us to tackle the challenges posed by climate change, the housing crisis, and a changing employment landscape head-on.” West of England mayor Tim Bowles added: “Temple Quarter will be a gateway to our region that showcases the very best of the West of England. “Our ambitious plans will see innovative businesses creating decent, well-paid jobs, homes where people want to live and great transport links in a new, sustainable neighbourhood.”

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