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  Bristol Temple Meads
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  Highbridge & Burnham
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  Exeter St. Davids

Wheels: BE. If you're on wheels, see our Easy Access page for explanation.
For a full list of routes see the bottom of this page.
This is Yatton station, looking south through the morning sunlight. Though shorn of its old branch line tracks and minus the roof on the overbridge and part of the canopy on the left platform, the station is still very obviously vintage Great Western. The distant curve-roof canopy also speaks of the level of passengers it once handled - and it still has enough to keep it staffed today.

BRISTOL TEMPLE MEADS is probably the largest station in the West of England - a provincial capital of railways, and not vastly different from its heyday. Its protective overall roof stretches from the entrance Bristol Temple Meads Plan across to platform 7/8, with canopies providing cover elsewhere.

Unlike stations in the Midlands, which label long platforms as (e.g.) 5a and 5b, this station gives new numbers to the same platform faces, odd numbers to the north end of the station, even numbers to the south (but there is no platform 14, only 13 and 15).

The platforms are linked by a modern or modernised mall-like underpass with several commercial stalls, and there are steps and lifts to all platforms. Three of the four platform islands have waiting rooms, and there are snacking facilities on two of them. The exit is from platform 1 through an automatic ticket barrier, but with a staffed gate for incompatible tickets, wheels and heavily luggaged passengers. On the other side is a large ticket office. The access road outside will get you to Temple Gate, the north east corner of the city centre, in a five minute walk. There is parking near the booking office, but it wasn't clear whether this was for travellers or railway staff only, so you'd need to enquire. Temple Meads doesn't have the gloss of some of the modernised London termini such as Liverpool Street, but it can keep you warm, dry and fed whilst waiting for your train. Finally, note that Temple Meads lies in an interesting network of lines. If you're travelling south-west, you'll be heading off the left side of the sketch. Otherwise just pay close attention to train announcements. Wheels: BE.
Click here for Birmingham to Bristol Temple Meads

BEDMINSTER station is signed for pedestrians but not for motorists, but with common sense (and sight of the embankment the line runs along) it's possible to find it anyway. The entrance is a bare yard with parking for a dozen or so cars, advertised by a station sign and sizeable mural of a red steam locomotive and coaches [a revolt against Great Western green perhaps?!]. There is more decoration through the underpass that links the two platforms, all carried out by a local civic group and definitely lifting it from the dull greyness one Bedminster
might have expected. That runs out when the stepless ramps get you to platform level, where only one stylish but very airy (read draughty) bus shelter decorates each of the two island platforms. There are 4 tracks, though one of these is rarely used. Be aware that platforms 2 and 3 are used bi-directionally. The station is unstaffed. Wheels: BE.

The two island platforms are identical, except that the unnumbered track is being steadily absorbed by greenery. Each has a ramp (seen at left in the
Bedminster Plan
photo), a shelter, and a perchbar seat on the platform. The timetable is back by the car park entrance - a nuisance with no video train announcing.

Parson Street    Parson Street Plan
Parson Street station has no parking, and is sited on what is now a triangular traffic gyratory system (with a contraflow for cyclists along the station roadside), so even pick-up and set-down is awkward. If there was a ticket office, it has disappeared in favour of a somewhat woebegone shelter on the bridge, and the station is unstaffed. Access to each platform is by a now roofless staircase from road level, with no alternatives for wheeled users. The platforms are two islands, each with a boxy shelter. One of the outer tracks has been removed and the other one is normally used for freight traffic, leaving the two inner ones for local services. We don't believe there is train announcing but would welcome correction. Wheels: BE.
Photo: passengers board a Weston-Super-Mare-bound Class 143 railbus on a Saturday in April 2007.

NAILSEA & BACKWELL Despite the accent on Nailsea, the station is just inside the boundary of its neighbour Backwell on the unnumbered road (Station Road) that links them, and less than a mile from the A370. It stands on a high embankment that effectively Nailsea and Backwell Plan
divides the two communities from any sight of each other (and also impedes road traffic under it) but obviously functions well as a commuter station and has a 100-space car park to support it. Unfortunately, it isn't wheel-user friendly, with only steps to get you to the platforms. The Bristol platform has three shelters (two mated together with a tiny hatch to allow ticket sales to morning commuters), the other side has one with perch seating for about 7 people. Wheels: BE.

Photo: A northbound train getting ready to leave
Nailsea and Backwell Plan
after loading passengers. The ticket office is in the middle of the two joined shelters. To the left is the sheeted ticket machine, not yet in service (April 2007), and in the background the passenger overbridge. Video train information and announcing is beyond the shelters, but not visible here.

YATTON is a very attractive example of Great Western station style, and a marked contrast to the prevalent bus shelter provision elsewhere. Yatton was a busy station for most of a century, serving branch lines (now closed) in addition to the main line it sits on. It remains busy enough to have a ticket office (with a ticket machine on the opposite platform), train announcements and video Yatton looking north
display and there is even a small garden on the Exeter side by the footbridge. The station can be approached from either side of the road bridge just to the north of the station, and each side has pay and display car parking (1/day in 2007). For wheelchair users, this is the only way across the line, so the wheels rating recognises the need to go round to collect a car from the opposite side of the line. Wheels: BE. Yatton Plan
The photo shows Yatton from the south, with the large passenger canopy on the left. Exeter-bound passengers presumably need less shelter. The parking on both sides of the station can just be seen, and in the distance the road bridge that links them. The heading photo on this page shows another view of Yatton.

WORLE Worle station
Above: Worle early one Saturday morning in April 2008, viewed from the car park. At left is one of the shelters, this one with a ticket machine facing passengers on the approach ramp. At the bottom by the notice board may be a peak-time ticket cabin, and the hatched area is disabled parking. Beyond the cars at right is the sheltered cycle rack, and the ramped overbridge dominates the whole scene.

Worle Plan Worle is signed off a roundabout on the B3440 New Bristol Road. It lies just north of the junction for the loop out to Weston-Super-Mare. It has two platforms with round-topped bus shelters and a similar shelter used as a cycle rack down at the same level as the substantial car park. By the approach ramp there is a portacabin-style unit which may serve as a ticket cabin in the peak period (it was sealed up when we visited) and at the top of the same ramp is a ticket machine for 24-hour sales. A ramped wheelchair-friendly overbridge links the two platforms.
Wheels: BE.

   Weston-Super-Mare Loop Line

WESTON MILTON Weston Milton Photo Weston Milton is on the loop line from Worle that continues through Weston-Super-Mare before rejoining the Exeter line. It was single-tracked circa 1973 so the one platform serves all trains. However, the revival of rail use has led to a proposal to dual track the line again, and a second platform may be built if and when that happens. The station is in Saville Road, accessed off the south side of the B3440, a few yards past the traffic light junction when heading towards Weston-Super-Mare. There is a finger sign for it on the opposite side of the main road. Don't turn at the traffic lights - the road is one-way over a bridge and you'll be forced into a detour to the next bridge back.
Weston Milton Plan The photo shows that the station itself is very sparse and although there is a ramp to the platform, the bunker-like shelter is slightly detached and has a step down that bars wheelchair users from reaching it. The car park has 30+ standard and 2 disabled spaces. Wheels: BE.

   Weston-Super-Mare stationWESTON-SUPER-MARE Weston-Super-Mare station sits on a level site and is still served by attractive traditional main buildings and an unusual towered overbridge which has been made more accessible by additional external staircases (at some cost to the original design). There are two main platforms plus a short bay on the north side. Both platforms have long traditional canopies as there is presumably still a holidaymaker traffic to cater for. The main station building includes a ticket office, bar, and other facilities. Both platforms are bi-directional - i.e. trains arrive and leave in either direction.

There is pay-and-display parking in the Weston-Super-Mare Plan forecourt, Station Approach, plus a few short-stay bays, and there are also buses around. We noted parking on the other side of the line (also called Station Approach) but it was empty and we don't know for certain that it's for rail users. You reach it via Sunnyside Road North. This would make both sides accessible, but with no lifts to the overbridge and (from our photos) no obvious footboard crossing, wheeled users would probably have to go over the A370 bridge to get back to their car after a trip. The wheels value reflects this, but fully able passengers will have no problems. Wheels: BE.

For simplicity our plans show straight track, but the photo shows how the line actually curves sharply as it turns south through the station. The rear car park is off to the left. You can see additional steps driven up into the original building a long time ago, then you have the platforms with their canopies. The main station buildings are on the northbound platform, with the bay platform just to the right of the nearest columns.

Highbridge and Burnham Plan Highbridge and Burnham station
Highbridge & Burnham station lies at the south-east corner of the town at the end of Market Street, with a turn-off just before the road bridge that passes over the line north of the station platforms. The approach road is tear-drop shaped to create a built-in turnround, and there are parking spaces on the approach side for about 18 vehicles plus two disabled spaces very close to the northbound platform entrance. This platform has two bus shelters and a ticket machine (not yet in use). A stepped passenger bridge is the link between this side and the southbound side, and there is no footboard crossing. However, there is a stepless, smooth footpath that passes round what look like flats to join the road bridge on that side of the line. Signing is adequate and the station is easily found. Train information seems to be purely notice-based. Wheels: BE.

Above, a less than ideal photo still shows the essentials of Highbridge: two platforms, stepped overbridge linking the platforms, two bus shelters on this side, and one like the gray one on the opposite side, but hidden from camera view. To the right, the car park is just visible through the railings.

Bridgewater BRIDGWATER station is east of the town centre - the A372 (St. John Street) passes just south of it and gives a fork onto Wellington Road. The station catches your eye right away - white stone and white paint. It looks very clean. The Bristol side has a staffed ticket office from early morning until after lunch (and a ticket machine - not yet in service when we visited - out on the platform), and video train information is supported by Bridgwater Plan broadcast announcements. There is considerable canopy cover on both platforms, enhanced by side screens to deflect wind. The Bristol side has a waiting room, but there is surprisingly little seating on the Exeter side, which can only be reached by a covered stepped overbridge. The station car park has 30 spaces with 4 allocated to disabled users. Wheels: BE.

The photo looks north through the station.

Taunton station
   Taunton Plan
Taunton station's 19th century entrance, just off Station Road, faces south towards the town centre - but these days the main entrance is on the north side in a modern add-on that has a booking hall and a flat link to the underpass with lifts and stairs to the platforms. The platform above the booking hall (platform 5, with platform 6 as a bay at the western end) has the main passenger facilities and a long canopy. The middle platform was taken out of use some years ago and stripped of its canopy and other features, but the resurgence of rail use has brought it back into service. It still has no canopy, but a large modern waiting room/shelter has been erected, and a lift to this platform was being installed when we visited (April 2007). The original entrance on platforms 1-2 can still be accessed from the road or the adjacent pay and display parking. It still has a full canopy and also has a fully sheltered bus-link waiting area. This is a major station and should be able to supply most passenger needs. Wheels:BE.

The renewal works made it difficult to get a representative photo of Taunton, but this view shows the middle platform with its new shelter, video train display, but also a full timetable board. In the background is the more traditional platform 6 with its overall canopy.

Tiverton Parkway looking north
Tiverton Parkway plan
Tiverton Parkway station belies its name: it's several miles east of Tiverton, tucked in beside the A361's meeting with M5 at junction 27 - itself just east of Sampford Peverell. If you approach on the A361 dual carriageway from Tiverton, you need to go round the
motorway roundabout to get to the station's access road, but it's clearly signed. Tiverton Parkway is a modern 1986 replacement for the former Sampford Peverell station. It has stepless access to a large combined waiting room/ticket office (staffed all day) with seating for around 20-25 including 3-4 tables, and newspapers and snacks are available. Sloped ramps link the two platforms, with bus shelters on both. Outside, there is parking for about 175 cars by the station, with an overspill 3 minutes walk away on the approach road. The approach road itself is a country lane with no pavement. It offers no parking of any kind for a considerable distance so your choices are to walk, cycle, get dropped or pay the parking fee. When we visited, the main car park was packed, though there was space in the overspill. Wheels: BE.

Exeter St. Davids Plan EXETER ST. DAVIDS is the city's major station, sited towards the north west corner of the city, just on the east side of the river Exe, and accessed by Isambard Parade, off Bonhay Road (A377). Note that there is also an Exeter Central station and an Exeter St. Thomas station, so take care not to confuse them. Exeter St. Davids has five through lines - all of them bi-directional - and either way out of the station can take you north. Platform numbering goes 2,1,3,4,5,6 - with 2 being the bay at the north end of platform 1.

When passenger facilities were upgraded in 2007, new lifts were added to the northern overbridge - but possibly not in quite the position shown. We haven't been on the platforms themselves but we can say that the station has a full range of facilities with a cafeteria on platform 1 and refreshments on 5/6; and as it is still a traditional station, there is plenty of shelter. Parking outside is pay and display, and free parking anywhere is uncommon. Immediately south of St Davids, the line divides - one track swinging east to Exeter Central and the Southern route back to London, the other continuing south to Exeter St. Thomas, then on towards Cornwall. Wheels: BE.
Exeter St. Davids from the north Exeter St. Davids cross-platform view
Above left, looking through the station from Station Road (north end), with platform 2 at the left side. The towers support the pedestrian overbridge between platforms. Right: a cross-platform view from beside the overbridge showing the freshly painted Victorian engineering to admire, Great Western bench seats to sit on, and you can still weigh yourself on platform 5. Just above the sloping stairs is one of the overhead video train information screens.

Routes and Resources Table: Front Information Page Birmingham All-Stations Map
  Central Region Routes Map Full Routes Scroll Map
Stations A-Z      
Birmingham New Street Station
Birmingham - Cheltenham & Bristol
Birmingham - Coventry & London Euston
Birmingham - Derby & Nottingham
Birmingham - Kidderminster & Worcester
Birmingham - Leamington Spa
Birmingham - Leicester
Birmingham - Lichfield
Birmingham - Redditch & Worcester
Birmingham - Rugeley
Birmingham - Stratford-upon-Avon
Bristol - Exeter
Cheltenham Spa - Cardiff
Chester - Hereford & Cardiff
Chester - Llandudno
Crewe - Shrewsbury
Crewe & Stoke - Wolverhampton & Birmingham
Derby & Nottingham - Bedford & London
Ipswich - Cambridge & Norwich
Leamington Spa - London
Leamington Spa - Oxford
Leicester - Cambridge
Lowestoft - Ipswich & Felixstowe
Manchester - Crewe via M. Airport
Manchester - Crewe via Stockport
Norwich - Cambridge
Norwich - Great Yarmouth
Norwich - Lowestoft
Norwich - Sheringham
Nottingham - Grantham
Oxford - Bicester
Shrewsbury - Llandrindod
Stafford - Rugby via Trent Valley
Stoke-on-Trent - Derby      
Walsall - Shrewsbury
Worcester - Hereford
Worcester - Oxford

Please note: the notes and sketches are intended only to give a general impression, and should not be relied upon for more than that. Dudley Mall accepts no liability for errors, but will correct any significant ones notified to us through or by post to Dudley Mall, 62 Gervase Drive, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4AT.
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