£15m to be spent on Bristol underground study

Dan Norris

The West of England metro mayor has confirmed that £15m will be spent on a study exploring the costs of a mass transport network for Bristol.

Dan Norris said the spending money was “sensible” despite admitting that the multi-billion pound project was “unlikely” to be built.

The £15m study was first announced by Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees last year.

It will explore the costs and benefits of building a light-rail metro network for the city.

Four lines are planned for Bristol, some of which would be built underground.

Speaking to John Darvall on BBC Radio Bristol, Norris said the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) was still going to spend £15m on the study.

But he also added the underground was very unlikely to ever be built due to its high costs.

Norris said: “What I want to do is allow that work to complete. At the moment we have to do a cost-benefit analysis of all the different options that are currently being considered, one of which is the underground system that Marvin’s keen on.

“Underground [rail] is hugely expensive and the whole economic situation has changed.

“Governments have been giving money away to subsidise energy bills for us all, which is the right thing to do in my view, but means that money isn’t there to build transport systems.”

Estimates for the total cost of an underground network have varied from £4bn to £18bn.