Wiltshire Council are keen to keep plans to build a new railway station in Wilton following the recent announcement of additional funds being released by the Government.
The Department for Transport is set to have a £500 million ‘Restoring Your Railway’ fund, which is aimed at improving accessibility to train travel and restoring some of the services lost by the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.
That fund is being split into three groups – one of which is for ‘accelerating existing proposals’.
Wilton Parkway is being seen as an alternative to using Salisbury station, for passengers on the western side of the city. The station would also be billed as ‘Wilton Parkway for Stonehenge’ as a closer link to the English Heritage monument for passengers to use.
If the plans were to go ahead as they’re currently drawn up, any station would be built along the existing railway line, next to Wilton’s park and ride site.
Projects, like Wilton, that already have a business case and feasibility study drawn up would be eligible for help from the scheme.
Councillor Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Transport, says they’re hopeful of getting funding for a number of planned stations across the county:
“We will be the lead promoter for five proposed bids, as required in the Department for Transport (DfT) Guidance, and we are working with local MPs, Transwilts Community Rail Partnership, Network Rail, train operators, the Swindon & Wiltshire LEP, and other interested parties to promote these bids.
“We are working to prepare the Expressions of Interest for Melksham Single Track Capacity Enhancement, Westbury 4th Platform and Devizes Parkway Station by 28 February, as well as the actual submission, which will be due by 16 March. These are very tight timescales, but we are confident of meeting them.
“The Wilton Station and Corsham Station proposals fall within the ‘Accelerating Existing Proposals’ fund and we are also actively following bidding for these once there is more clarity from DfT on the bidding process.”