A FURTHER £15m in funding has been announced to develop nine Restoring Your Railway schemes across England to reopen disused railway lines, services and stations.

This includes Devizes Station between Pewsey and Westbury.

Devizes MP Danny Kruger, who has worked heavily on the project since he was elected in 2019, said he was "over the moon". 

The Government will now fund a £400,000 study by Network Rail, working alongside Wiltshire Council, GWR, Devizes Development Partnership and the Devizes Gateway Steering Group.

The study is planned to be completed by March 2023 and will build on the work undertaken for the Devizes Gateway Strategic Outline Business Case, which was submitted to the DfT in November 2021.

The study will be made up of two main elements.

The first of these will focus on Devizes Gateway and look at station infrastructure requirements, train services and station transport connections, such as bus services.

The second element will focus on Westbury station and look at a strategic vision and timetable planning.

Mr Kruger added: "My thanks to the Devizes Development Partnership and Wiltshire Council for their work on the bid, and to the Government for the Restoring Your Railway funding which has been awarded today. 

"I look forward to working with the local community and businesses to plan the next stage of this vital and exciting project for Wiltshire."

Devizes Town Mayor Councillor Peter Corbett said: “Good access to train services is essential to any town, and therefore the whole Town Council is extremely pleased that the Gateway Project has moved to the next stage.

“The Devizes Town Council is committed to supporting the project as it there are clear economic and mobility benefits to our community, which will support the town to continue to thrive as a great place to live, work and visit.

“We will closely follow the project as it progresses through the study.”

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “This is great news for the Devizes Gateway project, and also for Wiltshire generally given the important interchange role that Westbury station has.

“Devizes Gateway would bring a station to the largest town in Wiltshire that is currently without a rail link, and this will bring significant travel and economic benefits to both Devizes and the wider local area.

“Westbury station is a key rail hub that has capacity issues that impact on train services and interchanges. Addressing these issues would not only benefit Westbury and Wiltshire, but also the wider region.

"We're committed to improving public transport in Wiltshire, and although there is still some way to go, we welcome this very good news on Devizes Gateway station and Westbury station.”