I pledged to work to bring a rail station to Wellington when I was first elected to Parliament in 2015; and the prospect of a station is fast becoming a reality I am delighted to say. Working at Government level and with stakeholders as co-chair of the Somerset and Devon Rail group the project was one of 10 schemes fast tracked by the Department of Transport.
The Devon and Somerset Metro Rail Group are the local stakeholder group leading on plans to open a rail station in Wellington, that also runs alongside a similar hope of bringing a station to Cullompton.
The then Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced in May 2020 that the Metro Group’s bid was one of just ten projects nationally to be selected for the next phase of development. Officials from the Department of Transport have been working closely with the Rail group since 2020.
Members of the Devon and Somerset Metro Rail Group met on the site of the proposed new Wellington rail station with chair of the group Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow.
Amongst those gathered were representatives from Wellington town council, Network Rail, Great Western Railway, the developers, and architects. Starting at where the proposed cycle walkway would enter the ground near the new Lidl development, the group walked to the site where the car park and platform is proposed. The site includes a mixed housing provision, commercial opportunities as well as the station and the developer is anticipating submitting the planning application within the next couple of months. This will be a very green development with integrated cycling and walking and local MP Rebecca Pow is working hard with others to ensure the cycling provision links in with the Wellington Cycle plan and their Wellington place strategy.
Local MP Rebecca Pow said:
“Getting everyone onsite to actually visualise the proposed station was a very exciting moment. Invaluable detailed work has been undertaken for many years now to get us to this stage, for which everyone involved must be commended. We’ve been successful in securing government funding at steps along the way to help get us to this stage. And now we are pushing for the full business case to be submitted to the Department for Transport sometime between June and the Autumn and I am pressing for this to be completed as soon as possible so that we are ready to take advantage of the Government backing we need for the final stage. I’ve informed the Secretary of State for Transport of our progress so far and will be giving him a further update following the onsite meeting as well as the meeting of the full committee jointly with Cullompton which followed.”
Information has recently been sent out to local people in the Longforth Farm area of Wellington for their comments on plans for the Wellington Rail Station.
Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow met with the developer, Chris Winter, to view the proposed site and discuss the plans. The planning application for the wider development on the site adjacent to the Longforth Farm Estate is being prepared now in close liaison with Network Rail, with the aim being to submit it to the Planning Authority in the autumn.
Local MP Rebecca Pow MP said:
“I had an informative meeting and walk around the proposed site of the Wellington Rail Station with developer Chris Winter. I have championed this project and have been working constructively with all stakeholders and it is welcome news that the planning application may be submitted this autumn. I pledged to work to bring a rail station to Wellington when I was first elected to Parliament in 2015 and this is genuinely exciting progress. I am proud to be part of the team that is bringing this forward and I shall continue to play my role, in particular as the link between activity on the ground in the constituency and the Department of Transport in Westminster.”
The latest welcome allocation of £5m has just been received to develop the detailed business case which sets us on a pathway for a potential opening in 2025 which is tremendously exciting.
The station will bring multiple benefits including improved connectivity, business opportunities and crucially will decarbonise our transport network. My campaign for a cycleway linking Wellington and Taunton will also help people to reduce reliance on cars and encourage active and safe travel by bike to the proposed station.