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Full-steam ahead for Stonehouse station

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The rail minister will visit Stroud to discuss the business case for reopening Stonehouse Bristol Road railway station after the town’s MP brought the matter up in parliament again this week.

Siobhan Baillie mentioned that a decision on whether the station would receive funds from the government was due before Christmas but nothing had happened.

The project – backed by Stonehouse Town Council – was given £50,000 from the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund for a feasibility study.

“We are trying to reopen the Bristol Road Stonehouse line, which was closed under the Beeching cuts, to make sure that we have access into Bristol,” Baillie said.

“This is a 25-year dream of my constituents. I grasped it, and we managed to get investment from government to do a proper feasibility study. 

“I am waiting for the minister and government to give us information about the next stage for the outline business case. I understood that it was going to come before Christmas, so it will be helpful for my constituents to hear a little more about that. Stonehouse Town Council is working particularly hard on that.”

In reply the minister Huw Merriman said: “I will visit my honourable friend in Stonehouse. 

“She and the town council have done a great job, and when I visit, we will look at the business case, because there has been work inside the department.”

Speaking afterwards Baillie added: “Stonehouse town council and campaigners have worked so hard on the study and they are rightly chasing an update.  I am pleased the minister was so quick to offer to visit so he can see the ambition and drive, myself, local people and the council have to see this station back open. 

“I also mentioned my campaign for step-free access at Stroud station, a constituent’s concerns about how expensive trains to London are from Stroud and the need for improvements at Cam and Dursley station with new shelters. 

“GWR was in Parliament too so I spoke to the operator and I will be following up with the minister on these campaigns when he comes to Stonehouse.”

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