Henbury Line

The Henbury Line forms a key part of the West of England Combined Authority’s MetroWest project to improve rail services in and around Bristol. New stations are planned for Ashley Down, North Filton (possibly to be known as Brabazon) and Henbury.

Ashley Down station site from Station Road (Feb 2023)
Ashley Down station site from Station Road (Feb 2023)


February 2023

Detailed plans for Ashley Down station approved by Bristol City Council. WECA agree funding. Site mobilisation is scheduled for 27th February 2023.

July 2022

Bristol City Council grant Prior approval for Ashley Down station plans.

June 2021

Network Rail submits ‘Prior Approval’ planning application for Ashley Down station.

September 2020

Bristol City Council reveal plans for access arrangements for the new Ashley Down Station.

June 2019

Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Transport, updates Bristol City Council cabinet about the design progress for Ashley Down station, which will be located at the old Ashley Hill station site. Councillor Dudd says there will be a public engagement around the design and access of the site. He says the pedestrian and cycle access leading to Station Road, Muller Road and the Concorde Way cycle route will get particular attention.

The West of England Combiner Authority (WECA) states that full planning applications will be submitted over the next few months for North Filton and Henbury. Network Rail has permitted development rights to build Ashley Down station on the site of the previous station.

March 2019

Discussions are underway to expand MetroWest 48 km beyond Yate to Gloucester in the north and 23 km from Bath to Westbury. Director of Infrastructure David Carter says WECA is working with Network Rail to determine the necessary infrastructure. He states:

We have to make sure we keep, in both MetroWest 1 and 2, the cost of the turnback at Bath and the cost of the turnback at Yate until such time as the DfT confirms Gloucester and Westbury are in the GWR franchise.

September 2018

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees confirms his decision to cancel the Bristol Arena at Temple Island, behind Bristol Temple Meads. This clears the way for a privately developed arena funded by Malaysian investment firm YTL in the Brabazon Hangar at Filton Airfield. This is close to the potential site for new North Filton station.

YTL and South Gloucestershire Council had previously agreed to move North Filton station to a new location 300m west of the old one. The new station will be more central to the airfield housing development, and closer to the Brabazon Hangar.

January 2018

WECA announce that the new £10 million station will be built on the East Site, and the former Henbury station site is rejected due to a higher cost. Levels of public support for both sites were similar.

January 2016

Consultation on the location for a new railway station to serve Henbury asks for views on two options for the location:

  • the “West Site”, west of the A4018 and east of Station Road (the former station site)
  • and the “East Site”, immediately east of the A4018.


West of England Partnership (WEP) Joint Transport Board resolve to prepare an outline business case for a Henbury spur service. This includes new stations at Ashley Down, North Filton and Henbury, as part of MetroWest Phase 2.

Loop or spur?

West of England Partnership dismiss the case for a Henbury Loop service, extending west to Avonmouth via Clifton Down to Temple Meads, because they claim it would only attract 8,000 more passengers per year than the proposed spur.


A demonstration charter train shows the feasibility of operating a service around the Henbury Loop.

The West of England Partnership’s business case ignores the number of new residents. There will be 8,000 new homes in the Cribbs Patchway New Neighbourhood (old Filton Airfield), and many residents will need to travel to employment hubs to the north-west of the city such as Severnside.

It also ignores the potential passenger flow from the proposed Portway Park and Ride station.


South Gloucestershire Council discuss restoration of services on the Henbury Loop, providing the opportunity for a suburban metro service, serving Bristol Temple Meads, Clifton Down, Henbury and Bristol Parkway (and intermediate stops) on a circular route.


Stations close to freight, but the Henbury line is retained for freight use as a direct route to Avonmouth Docks.


British Rail close Ashley Hill, Horfield, Henbury and Chittening stations to passengers.