HOPES of returning a train station to Wellington are growing as Westminster has announced plans to potentially reopen lines closed in the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. Wellington station closed on October 5 1964, one of more than 2,000 stations axed .
Transport minister Chris Grayling said he wants to identify potential routes would boost the local economy, encourage house-building and ease overcrowding. A second encouraging factor is that Ingham Pinnock Associates, the consultants appointed by TDBC to advise on the regeneration of north Wellington, have a revived trqain station as part of their brief.
The link would also see a new station opening at Cullompton in Mid Devon as part of the joint project.
Councillor Mark Edwards, deputy leader of the council, said: “The government’s report is very welcome – we have genuine support for our proposal to reopen Wellington’s station and reconnect the town to the rail network.
“Extensive studies have taken place on possible network timetabling – and that has confirmed that the proposal is definitely feasible in terms of timetabling trains.
“We are now carrying out more detailed work on the business case and are hopeful that it will be ready in the spring. Wellington is a growing town and the station would provide a real lifeline to residents and businesses.”
Taunton council wants to see a Metro-style link opened to connect to Taunton, Bristol and Exeter and helped to fund a business case for the bid, working with neighbouring councils in Devon, Somerset County Council, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the MP for Taunton Deane, Rebecca Pow.
Mr Grayling heralded the “massive growth” of Britain’s railways in recent years as “decades of decline” under British Rail were reversed with passenger numbers doubling.
He said a “new model for the 2020s and beyond” is needed to cope with the increased demand which has caused congestion on the network.