“I won’t waste a penny more of taxpayers’ money on an underground”, said Metro Mayor Dan Norris after there was stalemate on what to do next on new public transport at a West of England Mayoral Combined Authority meeting on Friday, 6th October.

In a report put to the committee, the West of England Mayor voted for overground options only, whereas council leaders voted to continue to explore underground options.

Mr Norris vetoed continued work on underground options. Council leaders refused to vote for overground-only work.

Mayor Dan Norris said: “I voted for overground options only because I believe an underground to be unaffordable and unrealistic.

"Overground options offer a really exciting opportunity. Buses, one day possibly trams or another new technology, like the system I saw in Coventry just recently, could make a real impact at pace on traffic and pollution.

"I believe that we owe it to residents to focus all our energies and resources on delivering projects that might actually happen, and so make a difference to people’s lives.

"We need a credible, affordable, realistic option to put to government.

"The Strategic Outline Business Case was developed over the last three years at considerable cost, at over £2m, was delivered eight months ago, and is a robust and substantive piece of work.

"No amount of further analysis is going to change the basic facts. We need to start being honest with people and stop pretending that a project that everyone knows is not going to happen is somehow still a viable option.

"I am disappointed that no one would actually back getting on and delivering better overground public transport.”

The report estimated an underground could cost up to £18 billion.