A ‘living’ station for Yate?

Yate Station - northbound platform, viewed from southbound platform

The Yate Town Improvement Masterplan was published in December 2021. This plan sets out how the town’s train station could be transformed into a ‘living’ station.

Yate, together with Chipping Sodbury, is home to 35,000 people. It is situated 19km from the centre of Bristol and 18km from Bath. The station is on the western edge of the town. The old Yate station closed in 1965, and was reopened with its current layout in 1989.

The station is best described as ‘functional’. The southbound platform is fully accessible, but the northbound platform can only be reached via a steep ramp. A ticket machine is available, and there is a ticket office which is open on weekday mornings. There is parking space for 30 bikes and 120 cars. Local buses stop within 150m of the station.

Yate Station - access steps and ramp to northbound platform
Yate Station – access ramp and steps from northbound platform. The ramp is too steep for modern accessibility standards.

New front door to Yate

The Masterplan outlines how the current facilities could be transformed into a ‘living station’. It would put much greater emphasis on it as a place and a destination within Yate. This is seen as a major opportunity to encourage sustainable movement through a central hub, serviced by a mix of amenities and high-quality public realm.

First impressions are powerful and longlasting. As the front door to Yate, the arrival experience of rail passengers could shape how they perceive the town itself, which makes this area highly important to positively shape that impression.

Yate Town Improvement Masterplan

Southbound platform

The first stage of the plan is to relocate the southbound platform from its current position north of Station Road to its original location alongside the northbound platform. A new split-level station building with bus interchange facilities would be constructed on land to the west of the station.

Yate Station - Brunel goods shed and southbound platform seen from northbound platform.
Yate Station – Brunel goods shed and southbound platform seen from northbound platform. The masterplan proposes moving the southbound platform back to its original location, on this side of the road bridge

Better access

The second stage of the plan focuses on developing access arrangements. People coming to the station on foot or by bike would arrive on the east side of the station. People coming by bus, or being dropped off by car, would arrive on the west side. The current car parking area to the north of Station Road would be redeveloped, with commuter parking retained underneath new buildings.

Yate Station - Car Park
Yate Station Car Park. The Yate Town Improvement Masterplan proposes redeveloping this area, retaining the parking with new buildings above.

Some elements of the old station survive. Prominent among these is the grade-II listed Brunel Goods Shed, which could become a focal point of the redevelopment.

Yate Station - Brunel Goods Shed
Yate Station – old forecourt, and Brunel Goods Shed. People on foot or using bikes would access the station from this side.

Finally, urban regeneration with mixed uses to ‘support and activate’ the new station environment would be encouraged. This it is hoped would make the station area more attractive and vibrant.

Future MetroWest services

Yate is currently served by one train per hour in each direction. These serve Gloucester to the north and Bristol to the south, though many are extended beyond these destinations. MetroWest should see this improved to two trains per hour.

FoSBR welcomes these plans, and would like to see similar schemes emerging for other local stations such as Stapleton Road and Clifton Down. We will also continue to campaign for a turn-up-and-go every 15 minutes service to Yate.