The Devon and Somerset Metro Rail Group had a positive virtual meeting today (Friday 30th October) to discuss the latest plans regarding their bid to open a rail station in Wellington, that also runs alongside a similar hope of bringing a station to Cullompton.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced in May this year 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 to develop the scheme with the intention that the project will be escalated quickly once the business case has been worked through.
Today’s meeting primarily covered the next stages of the process which involves submitting the Strategic and Economic cases for the stations which reference to preferred station locations, demand and revenue projections and capital cost estimates.
Co-Chair of the Devon and Somerset Metro Rail Group and Taunton Deane MP Rebecca Pow said:
“ We are making genuinely positive progress on our joint rail bid. It is interesting to note that even during the Coronavirus pandemic rail use across this area has held up and forecasts for the future demand from the two new stations look promising in particular the opportunity a station at Wellington provides for students to access colleges right across the region from Taunton, to Exeter, Bristol and Bath as well as of course the opportunities for many other users. The stations will also play a major part in achieving climate change commitments and decarbonisation ambitions.
I made securing a rail station for Wellington one of my commitments when I was first elected in 2015, and I have been working ever since with stakeholders and in conjunction with college Neil Parish MP to make this a reality. Today’s meeting was a good opportunity to take stock of the latest work and agree the next steps. I shall continue working on this project locally and at Government level, liaising with Transport Ministers to keep the momentum going and would like to thank all those involved in helping us to get this far.”