Hopes for a re-opened station in Wellington have been knocked back after news that Devon County Council has suspended forward planning work on a new station at Cullompton.
Last month the town council voted to allocate £10,000 towards a technical feasibility study on the new stations and train service. Taunton council has already committed £40,000 to the research.
Taunton councillor Mark Edwards, leading the project for TDBC, told the meeting emphatically that collaboration between Devon and Somerset was essential, not just desirable, if there were to be a new commuter service.
“The key to the whole idea is a partnership with others; GWR, Network Rail, Mid Devon, Devon County Council. It can’t happen in isolation. We won’t get a station in Wellington without a station at Cullompton,” said Cllr Edwards, deputy leader of Taunton council.
Yet an internal Devon County Council report obtained by Cllr Andrew Govier states clearly that Cullompton has no current priority with DCC. Tavistock and Marsh Barton are the new stations it is focusing on.
“There are no plans at the moment as far as I am aware We did carry out a joint feasibility study a while ago, in 2014. This looked primarily at Cullompton Station and did some very outline work on Wellington. There is no further work planned by ourselves on rail in Cullompton,” wrote a senior DCC official.
Cllr Govier stressed to the town council meeting that he is no sense opposed to the concept of a new station, simply that he wants people to be realistic about the chances of it happening.