A step closer to new railway stations at Cullompton and Wellington

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Wednesday 10th March 2021 3:17 pm
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THE Devon and Somerset Metro Board reached an important milestone last month, submitting a Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) to the Department for Transport to reopen railway stations at Cullompton and Wellington.

This is a crucial step forward in the process of implementing improvements to the rail network including the provision of these new stations.

This milestone is underpinned by months of hard work, research and partnership building to develop the case for the proposed new stations at Cullompton and Wellington by the Steering Group and WSP Consulting.

Both stations closed in 1964 with the loss of a stopping train service, however both towns have grown in population since then and are the largest settlements between Exeter and Taunton.

Cllr Chesterton, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economy at Mid Devon District Council, said: “The Government called for transport projects back in January 2020 through the ‘Restoring Your Railways - Idea’s Fund’.

"The two local Members for Parliament in conjunction with Mid Devon District and Somerset West and Taunton Councils were successful in securing this government funding for development of a business case to reopen stations at Cullompton and Wellington.

“We understand that our project is well placed amongst all the schemes nationally and we feel we have built a strong case which will assist in securing potential future funding and increase the likelihood of our aspirations becoming a reality.”

The business case considers various options to improve the broader service in the area. These include the potential for an hourly service through an extension of the current Cardiff to Taunton service and for a new Exeter to Taunton Shuttle service.

Longer term there may also be potential for longer distance services.

MP Neil Parish said: “We are currently waiting for the SOBC to be reviewed by the Department for Transport. We hope to hear a positive outcome over the coming months.

"If funding is secured this year construction could take place as early as 2024. This would be very exciting as Cullompton has been without its railway station for too long.”  

The Partnership for this project is made up of Mid Devon District Council, Somerset West and Taunton Council, Cullompton Town Council, Wellington Town Council, Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Network Rail and Great Western Railway.

The two local MPs Rebecca Pow and Neil Parish have both been directly involved and have sponsored the project.

More information about the project can be found at: middevon.gov.uk/residents/planning-policy/growth-economy-and-delivery/ .

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