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On the right tracks: Transport minister Grant Shapps gives backing to restoration of railway station

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Transport secretary Grant Shapps has given his support to the restoration of a railway station in Stonehouse.

A cash injection of a £50,000 grant will go into a feasibility study into the re-opening of the station.

Mr Shapps MP has talked of the reopening of the station as part of the Government’s pledge to restore some of the lines cut by Dr Beeching in the 1960s.

Trains currently run through Stonehouse station on the Gloucester to Swindon line, although there is another line in the town that goes to Bristol.

Stonehouse Bristol Road closed to passengers in 1965 as part of the Beeching cuts to the railways.

Mr Shapps said: “It’s great news and I am excited to see how the scheme progresses.

“Our efforts to undo the damage of the Beeching closures are gathering pace with work on new lines and new stations across the UK. I share the enthusiasm of local campaigners like Siobhan Baillie MP and Stonehouse Town Council”

Meanwhile, Siobhan Baillie has thanked “the amazing community effort” after she supported the application to the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund and spoke to the rail minister multiple times to get it over the line.

She said: “Reopening the station has been a 20-year campaign for so many people so I am thrilled to have secured some buy-in from the Government for the project. But it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the amazing community effort to persuade ministers the project has real merit.

“Thanks to Stonehouse Town Council, Stroud District Council, Gloucestershire CC and the GFirstLEP for all they have done on this successful bid. This is what happens when we all work together for the good of our communities.”

She added: “I am now looking forward to the next stage of the journey to realise the dream of reopening a station at Bristol Road Stonehouse. There is much to do if we are to secure all the finance needed but this feasibility money is a big step forward.”

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