A NEW report is recommending that the New Forest gets a new railway line from Brockenhurst to Ringwood and that the government considers re-opening stations closed under the ‘Beeching Axe’.

The ‘Case for Expanding the National Rail Network’ report from the Campaign for Better Transport contains detailed costings for a raft of proposed rail revivals.

It says that re-opening closed railway stations - especially those that fell victim to the drastic Beeching Axe closure programme during the 1960s - should be a ‘national priority’, to help combat poverty, traffic congestion and climate change.

The CFBT offers a variety of solutions, including one in the New Forest which could see the idea of reintroducing passenger services on the freight-only line between Totton, Hythe and Fawley and it also calls for a new line from Brockenhurst to Ringwood.

In Dorset there are calls for a tramway style line along Weymouth quay.

According to the CFBT: “Reopening railways has the potential to transform communities. For both passengers and freight, rail is a high-quality national transport network that can give people access to a wealth of social and economic opportunities.”

They said it could support local economies, expand labour markets and encourage new

investment and development.

“It can help tackle regional inequalities, making economically disadvantaged parts of the country more attractive for investment,” said the report.

“It can help create better places to live; relieving road congestion and pollution, and reducing carbon emissions.”

An example of this, it says, is the more than 10,000 people who could benefit from a station at Fawley in the Waterside area of the New Forest.