A NEW railway station in Wilton could be open as early as 2020, with those leading the project saying the track could open many train routes from the town.

Work on the Wilton Parkway scheme, which began in 2013, has made “significant progress”, according to Paul Johnson, chairman of the community transport partnership TransWilts.

The station in Wilton closed more than 40 years ago. Plans for a new station have been developed to help deal with traffic on the A36 and improve transport across the county.

Speaking at a meeting in Wilton on Wednesday, Mr Johnson said that the South Western Franchise has offered its support to the project as a second study is underway to determine whether the station is suitable.

Mr Johnson said: “There is a big improvement in the viability of the station if we can have a direct link to London rather than changing at Salisbury.

“We could provide a location to visitors which could be an attraction, a link to Salisbury and London and different routes into London, Reading and potentially Southampton Airport.”

It is expected that the second report will be completed in December and will become publicly available in March next year.

Once this has taken place the scheme could then be agreed in principal, and funds to help build the station could be sought from local organisations and the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

“It is possible that it could be open by 2020 to 2021. It is a two-year project once we have got that approval in principle and funding.”

Mr Johnson said the scheme, which is expected to cost between £5.5m and £6.5m, will create a community hub as well as a station.

“I really feel the station needs to be part of the community hub owned by the community," he said.

The station could provide an opportunity for a community shop, pub or a place for pop-up food vans to set up.