In a previous update I reported on the decision for the Society’s Corsham Station Campaign to join TransWilts, now a registered Community Interest Company. Paul Johnson, its Chairman, was the first Chairman of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership which no doubt accounted for the fact that four rail schemes were included within the final list of projects chosen for further study. Paul, alongside Graham Ellis and others have been exceptionally successful in promoting the improved Melksham rail service. As a result it was within reach of its fifth year passenger target within two years of operation! Paul sees great possibilities for a reopened Wilton Station and is acting as advisor to Wilton Town Council. Just recently Paul also met again with Corsham Town Council and the result was the following announcement:
“A huge step forward has been taken in the past month with the formation of a Corsham Town Team, with funding to commission a feasibility study, including train service options. The initial announcement by the Chair, Cllr. Peter Pearson, read as follows: I am delighted to announce the formation of a new team to take forward the aspirations for a new railway station and services for Corsham and surrounding areas. As Chairman of the new team, over the coming months I will be in regular contact with stakeholders to inform people of progress and seek information and support. For further information there is a new website at: corshamrailwaystation.org/TransWilts, who are providing advice and support on ‘rail speak’, sources of expertise and the Network Rail processes. The key delivery element in opening any new station is the availability of a suitable train service. There is no possibility of the new high-speed electric services stopping at every local station. A regional train service is needed which connects local destinations into the high-speed network. Establishing which train service options can be realistically considered, with a sensible affordable business case, and in what timescale, are the next essential steps in delivering Corsham Station.”
Paul Johnson suggests that if you have previously supported the Society’s Corsham Station Campaign you can help now, as we want to create a “Friends of Corsham Station” group. The Friends will be advised of progress and can become involved with local events associated with Corsham Station. In the longer term it is thought the members of the group would morph into the ‘station adoption and users group’, as and when the Station becomes a reality. To join the group go to the TransWilts web site at transwilts.org/tw/friends-area, (and be sure to pick “Corsham” as your “station of interest”). Your support will be much appreciated. That same interest and support is also required in the preparation of the terms of the Corsham Neighbourhood Plan. With the failure of the Core Strategy to provide any protection from developer’s green field dreams, we need as wide an input to the Neighbourhood Plan process as it is possible to achieve.