IT is full steam ahead for plans to build a railway station on the outskirts of Devizes as everyone from Government to operator GWR has shown the right signals.

Devizes MP Danny Kruger has met with members of Devizes Development Partnership in a bid to get the scheme for Lydeway a share of cash to re-open lines closed by the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.

The first step is to try to get £125,000 to pay for a feasibility study and if this is successful campaigners believe the station could be up and running within five years.

Mr Kruger said: “The Government’s £500m fund to help towns develop plans for new railway lines and stations is a huge opportunity for Devizes.

“Thanks to the work of the Devizes Development Partnership we have a well worked out plan for a new Parkway station at Lydeway.

“It would be a huge blessing to the town and the wider area. Devizes was once the gateway to the South West and is perfectly placed to benefit from the Bristol economy as well as London and the South East.

“I have met with ministers and officials from the Department for Transport to make the case for the new station and I will be submitting a formal proposal for funding next month.

“But we need to demonstrate big local support - if residents want a new station they have to ask for it. Please get in touch with me if you’d like to add your name to the list of supporters.”

Wiltshire Councillor Richard Gamble, who belongs to a number of rail related organisations and is a member of the development partnership, believes the Lydeway station could be created for around £15 million.

He said: “We are in a much better position than some other towns as the railway line is already there. All it really requires is platforms, a bridge and a car park.

“Some of the land needed is already owned by Network Rail but a certain amount would have to be acquired. We think we would need a car park for around 400 cars.”

There are also plans to link the new station to Devizes town centre, which is about three miles away, by a regular bus service.

Cllr Gamble said a meeting was held with GWR last week and it was supportive. New electric trains that already run between Pewsey and Westbury are better designed to stop at small stations than the heavy diesel Inter-City trains.

DDP chairman Iain Wallis said there had been a big turn out for its annual meeting last week and the audience was very supportive of the station plan.

He said: “It was fantastic to see so much interest and the level of public support confirms to the DDP that we are right to push this project forward as it will benefit the whole community.”

Devizes town clerk Simon Fisher said the station would give the town a huge tourism boost.