Crucial meeting over re-opening Corsham railway station 'within a month'
10:00am Tuesday 2nd September 2014 in By Andrew Lawton, Calne reporter
A crucial meeting between government officials and campaigners about the re-opening of Corsham railway station will take place within a month, says Devizes MP Claire Perry.
The new Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport was at Corsham on Friday with the Conservative’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Chippenham, Michelle Donelan.
Mrs Perry said: “What I’ve promised Michelle is to have a meeting in the next month in the department with officials and the people here today and really try and kick the tyres.”
“What we need is to get my department officials together with Network Rail and the campaigners here and I think a member from the train operating company and say, what do we need to know? What are the questions we haven’t answered? What needs to happen?”
The line between London and Bristol is being electrified over the next four years which should increase efficiency on the line and permit smaller stopping services in Wiltshire, including Corsham.
Mrs Perry stressed that any new station needed to be considered before the electrification process to prevent pylons inhibiting any future developments along the line.
She said: “There’s lots of money going into this area and I have to say the case that has been put forward by Michelle and the others here today, the economic case, it’s not a political case, for re-opening Corsham station is really strong.
“There’s money to be spent on infrastructure at the moment which is, thank goodness, long overdue.”
Mrs Perry's predecessor Stephen Hammond had met campaigners in March.
As well as Miss Donelan, Ben Howlett, prospective parliamentary candidate for Bath, Wiltshire councillors for Corsham Dick Tonge and Phil Whalley and Bath Spa University vice-chancellor Professor Christina Slade were all present at the briefing.
Miss Donelan said: “Corsham station is vital for the town, for the economy, for tourism, for education and all aspects of life.
“I have been surveying and everybody, over 90 per cent of people, support it and it’s something I am spearheading as a campaign to drive forward because now is the time that we can actually achieve it.”
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