Members of the Corsham Railway Station Town Team had a very positive and constructive meeting with Wiltshire Council on 2 October 2018.
Some of the points covered included:
• Corsham Station is in the Core Strategy so it is Wiltshire Council policy. This does not cover delivery;
• The Wiltshire Rail Strategy and study is part of the mechanism regarding provision;
• The Strategy will include advice on investment in rail;
• If Corsham is high on the list, it would be included in a bid as and when the opportunity arises;
• Funding of the station is secondary – the economic case must come first;
• The draft Rail Strategy or outline is expected in early 2019 for consultation;
• Deliverability: a timetable is still a big issue – two of the most important things are demonstrating the benefit to GWR/M4 corridor and the timetable. They are big challenges;
• The brief for the Corsham economic study must establish how the UK economy will benefit from including Corsham Station. Wiltshire as a whole, and the sub-region are very important – Corsham station in isolation will not be enough;
• Support from the MP is also very important;
• Journey times versus other issues such as congestion are still an issue. Government is still focussed on journey times between major cities;
• The Town Team was advised that whilst is may be many years before Corsham gets a station, lobbying at all levels is very important.
Members of the Town Team also attended a Swindon and Wiltshire Rail Study Stakeholders’ Workshop on 16 January 2019. The workshop involved representatives from a variety of organisations across Swindon and Wiltshire.
The aim of the workshop was to understand attendees views on a range of possible service and new station options, as well as giving the opportunity to provide their views on how services might develop. There was close linkage to the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Strategic Economic Plan objectives, and how they might also address strategic objectives of the Local Authorities’ Transport Plans. The Town Team representatives took the opportunity to promote the benefits of a new Rail Station for Corsham from an economic, social and environmental perspective.