|by commsofficer |
Gloucestershire County Cricket Club is backing a Bristol transport campaign that could result in the reopening of a train station where fans of the “father of cricket” WG Grace would disembark to watch him play in the mid Victorian era.
The Greater Bristol Metro Rail campaign would see the Ashley Hill station create a new link in suburban rail for the city and connect to the city’s major stations Parkway and Temple Meads – something the Club supports in conjunction with its plans to develop their Nevil Road ground only a few minutes’ walk away.
Representatives of the Club visited the old station site in Ashley Down with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) who were in Bristol to discuss progress on the Club’s new planning application.
If the plans get the go-ahead the County Ground would host national and international matches and want to attract more people to use public transport to arrive at the Ground. This would help to minimise parking on local roads as well as support a sustainable transport plan.
Tom Richardson, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club (GCCC), said: “There are many good reasons for both the Club and local residents to want to have this station reopened and we fully support the Greater Bristol Metro Rail campaign’s efforts.
“Promoting public transport for match travel is an on-going focus for the Club. We benefit from good bus links on the Gloucester Road and make full use of park and ride on match days.
“We recognise that the major matches have an impact on traffic in the local area and as such are committed to looking at all the ways we can reduce this and bring benefits to residents as well.
“The fact that fans would disembark at the station to watch WG Grace is a great piece of local history and so it is fitting that we could also be a part of its future.”
Gordon Hollins, Managing Director Events and County Business at the ECB, said: “The ECB is fully supportive of ensuring a variety of public transport options for travelling to and from matches is available and this is particularly important when large crowds are expected.
“Creating a sustainable infrastructure for sport is of benefit to everyone and in one that has such a significant connection to cricketing history would be a great way for fans to travel to matches in Bristol.”
Stephen Williams MP said: “Bristol’s rail links are incredibly important to the city, and I believe that any decision to reopen Ashley Hill station will assist in supporting a more sustainable public transport system which could help to ease road traffic congestion.
“I am immensely pleased that Gloucestershire County Cricket Club (GCCC) are supporting this proposal, as it will undoubtedly appeal to many cricket fans who could benefit from its location.”
Cllr Tim Kent, executive member for Transport at Bristol City Council, said: “It is great to see GCCC and the ECB supporting this campaign to have more trains running more often in Bristol.
“It is vital that as our city grows and develops, our long-term vision for a greener and more effective way of travelling and our campaign really helps people get involved in this process.”
To find out more about the Greater Bristol Metro Rail campaign log onto http://greaterbristolrail.com/ where there is an e-petition calling for a better deal for Bristol’s railways amongst other ways of getting involved.
Any businesses or organisations willing to support this campaign will need to do so before the closing date of Saturday 31st March.