Monthly Archives: July 2011

Oxford to Stratford on Avon nears Business Case cash target

A CAMPAIGN to raise £70,000 to make a business case for a direct railway link from Oxford to Stratford-upon-Avon is nearing its target.

More than £50,000 has been pledged, with Oxfordshire County Council and train operator First Great Western among bodies which have offered contributions of £10,000 each.

This has been added to an initial £10,000 from developer St Modwen, which is behind a housing project at a former Royal Engineers’ depot in Long Marston, Warwickshire, alongside the route, dubbed the Shakespeare Line.

Click here for the story

Saltford Railway Station – Initial campaign meeting

The campaign to reopen Saltford Station is to take its first step forward this week with a meeting tonight.

Saltford Environment Group was formed about four months ago by a group of like minded residents to raise awareness of a nationwide initiative called ‘Transition Towns’ which aims to prepare communities for a ‘post oil’ world. With fossil fuels becoming more scarce and prices rocketing, many experts feel we have reached ‘Peak Oil’ and need to adapt quickly in order to reduce the shock of a post oil economy.
In the last six months the government announced it is going to electrify Brunel’s Great Western Mainline from London Paddington through to Cardiff. This will be a massive infrastructure project, and will eventually see electric trains running through Bath, Keynsham and Saltford.
This is an opportunity that is too good to miss for Saltford. Electric trains mean faster acceleration and deceleration which means quicker timings and gaps in the timetable for re opened stations. We as a group felt the time was right to start a campaign to get our station back. Indeed, Paul Crossley, the new leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council, has already mentioned Saltford as one of the stations he’d like to see re opened! I have spoken to Roger Symonds who is a cabinet member with the transport brief and he is very keen also.
With the ever increasing cost of private motoring, a re opened station gives the residents of Saltford a vital and environmentally friendly transport asset that will ‘future proof’ the village. Many residents commute to Bath, Bristol, London and beyond. Saltford has quite a large student population who attend universities all over the country, Portsmouth, Birmingham etc.. Many people visit the village, a railway station will give people the option to visit without using the car.
We see the station as a small community facility. Not a vast ‘Park and ride’ set up. Many people will be able to access the station on foot as there is a comprehensive network of footpaths that the victorians put in place when the station was opened in 1841. It could open up the station site and turn it into a small business park or other village amenity.
It is with all this in mind we would like to give notice of a public meeting at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 26th July at Saltford Hall to discuss the possibility of a re opened station and to invite residents of Saltford along to express their support. Roger Symonds will be there as will members of Saltford Parish Council.
There will be a question and answer session too. [T]here will be available soon a ‘Saltford’ mug, bearing the original British Railways Western Region chocolate and cream Totem, which will be sold to raise funds for the campaign.

Soham Railway Station is an engineering possibility

Soham Railway Station is possible after a study by carried out by Network Rail and Atkins on behalf of East Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.

With a study into the feasibility of a railway station in Soham confirming it is an engineering possibility, the District Council is now set to investigate whether it is commercially viable.

Research carried out by Network Rail and Atkins on behalf of East Cambridgeshire District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council looked at the engineering possibilities of the railway station, the impact of freight transport and the level of passenger demand for the station.

The results were positive with the costs of the work to bring the railway station back into use estimated at between £2.5m to £5m depending on the extent of the station and whether it is staffed.

The next stage of the process is to see whether the station would be commercially viable and whether it could fit in with the other routes and services already using the lines.

Councillor Peter Moakes, Chairman of Development and Transport sub committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “This is report is encouraging news for our plans to reinstate the railway station in Soham. The work has shown that there are no major engineering obstacles to bringing a station back into use. This will of course be a major boost for Soham and its ability to grow in the future.

“However, I think it is important to set this work in context. The research has shown that while we believe the demand is there for services, we need to speak to train operators and our partners to determine whether these levels of demand are commercially viable and whether it could fit into the current timetables using the lines. There is still a lot of work to be done yet before we can say Soham will get its railway station back but we are moving along on the right track.”