AN APPLICATION to reopen the railway station in Wilton has reached the third round of the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund.

It is expected that the project would cost around £20m and would look to be delivered sometime between 2024-2029.

The Department of Transport confirmed receipt of the application, which has been supported by John Glen MP, for Wilton Junction Station last week.

The Wilton Junction Stakeholder Group met in October 2020 to confirm the intention to submit an application.

Four-platform station

The goal in Wilton would be the creation of Wilton Junction, a four-platform station that would be situated adjacent to the park and ride site in the town.

It would provide a rail link to Salisbury, and access to train services on the West of England line from London Waterloo to Exeter, plus other parts of Wiltshire on the TransWilts line, with two trains stopping at the station each hour.

It would also provide "sustainable access" to the Stonehenge World Heritage Site (potentially through improved bus links), Cranborne Chase AONB and National Cycle routes.

A working group, which included officer and councillor representatives from Wiltshire Council plus TransWilts, South West Railway, Nationwide Rail and Go South Coast was formed to construct the bid.

The application "was widely supported", with 15 letters of support from major and local stakeholders including GWR/SWR, Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, English Heritage Stonehenge, Cranborne Chase AONB, Wilton Town Council and Wilton Estate.

The council said: "Competition is fierce, however, whatever the outcome, there is confidence in the compelling strength of the submission." 

The Department of Transport Round 3 Panel is expected to review the bids in May 2021.

Salisbury Journal:
Cllr Pauline Church

'Benefits speak for itself'

Councillor Pauline Church, Wiltshire Councillor for Wilton and Chair of the working group, said: “I am grateful for the support and commitment of all stakeholders and particularly the weekly working group in putting this Department of Transport bid together.

"The potential socio-economic and sustainable transport benefits for Wilton and rural communities west of Salisbury speak for itself and I am delighted Wiltshire Council and John Glen are committed to taking this project forward.”

Salisbury MP John Glen said: “The proposal for a new Wilton Junction station has my full and unreserved support.

"We need to do more to help relieve congestion problems on our roads and this scheme would make it easier for people in Wilton and surrounding villages to access the rail network.

"It will also give us an opportunity to help level up communities by giving greater access to a wider pool of education and employment opportunities.

"I can assure constituents that I will be continuing to make the case for Wilton Junction with my ministerial colleagues in Westminster.”

Conservative candidate John Glen..Election count for Salisbury Constituency and Devizes Constituency, held at Five Rivers Leisure Centre in Salisbury..General Election 2019 DC9356P125 Picture by Tom Gregory...

John Glen DC9356P125 Picture by Tom Gregory.

'Early days for bid'

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The Wilton Junction bid would provide easy rail access to Salisbury and the rest of Wiltshire, plus onwards to London, and would also encourage tourists to visit the town, with potentially improved bus links from the station to Stonehenge and Cranborne Chase.

"It would also help to relieve traffic on the A36 and associated air quality issues in the area."

Cllr Wayman added that it is still "early days" for the bid.

She said: "If approved at this stage by the DfT in the next few months, we will be given funding to take the bids to the next step, which will see the preparation of strategic outline business cases.

"Only then could we start to get an indication of whether the bids will be a success, but we have submitted comprehensive bid applications, so we have high hopes.

“If approved, it’s expected that the Wilton project would cost around £20m and would look to be delivered sometime in the period 2024-2029 to fit in with other rail industry initiatives.

"Implementation of the station would be dependent on securing a suitable train service, which will involve work with the rail industry and key partners along the line.”

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