Rail campaigners have welcomed the Government’s new £20m fund for new railway stations and have proposed a list of priority candidates.
Last month rail minister Paul Maynard announced a further tranche of the new stations fund, which will provide up to 75% of the cost for construction of new stations or to reopen previously closed stations.
Lea Bridge Station in east London, re-opened with help from the fund
Chris Austin, who leads Railfuture’s Investment and Networks Group said: ‘This scheme is hugely welcome, not least because it's “phase two”, and is starting to look as if it might be a regular source of funding for new stations, which we would strongly support.
‘It’s an acknowledgement by Government that new stations are needed, and despite their high cost, they can offer effective solutions to transport problems. ‘
He explained: ‘We’ve looked at this in some detail, to assess the most likely station candidates. This fund is aimed at schemes where most of the planning work has been done, and match funding is available. The grant will “close the gap” to enable it to happen, and also to allow ministers to cut the ribbon on opening day within a reasonably short timescale, within a couple of years.’
The group's priority list is:
- Addenbrooke's (South Cambridge) - in conjunction with Cambridge City Deal
- Edginswell, Devon - funding from new housing development and a welcome rail scheme to compare with the adjacent £110m Kingskerswell by-pass. Targeted to open 2018
- East Leeds Parkway - location still to be agreed with developers
- Maghull North - Merseytravel sponsored, funding from developer and the Department for Transport (DfT), targeted to open December 2017
- Marsh Barton, Devon - developer funded scheme which will help address the traffic gridlock at this Exeter retail park
- Parkgate (Rotherham) - new station on former Midland Route sponsored by SYPTE
- Peterlee - new station on Durham coast line supported by LEP
- Soham, Cambridgeshire. Local authority sponsorship supported by GA and NR, in conjunction with planned Soham to Ely track doubling and hourly Ipswich to Peterborough service. Could open 2018
- Warrington West - LEP and developer support, with Warrington BC as sponsor. Targeted to open 2017
- Worcester Parkway - DfT approved, local authority sponsored and has planning permission. Targeted to open in 2018
Railfuture is a voluntary group representing rail users and campaigning for better rail services for passengers and freight, with 20,000 affiliated and individual members.
Mr Austin said the group was also ‘looking at a number of other schemes that are not yet as advanced as those, but where the prospects still look good’.