Conservative led Wiltshire Council has welcomed the news that the Devizes Gateway station project is to be developed further, thanks to an announcement by the Department for Transport (DfT). It's also good news for key rail hub Westbury station, as its relationship with Devizes Gateway and its wider interchange role will also be investigated.
The study will be led by Network Rail, working in partnership with Wiltshire Council, GWR and other local partners. The £400,000 study is planned to be completed by March 2023 and will build on the work undertaken for the Devizes Gateway Strategic Outline Business Case, which was submitted to the DfT in November 2021.
The study will be made up of two main elements. The first of these will focus on Devizes Gateway and look at station infrastructure requirements, train services and station transport connections, such as bus services and cycling routes. The second element will focus on Westbury station and look at a strategic vision and timetable planning. The proposals meet the council's business plan objective to have well-connected communities.
Conservative Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Cabinet Member for Transport, said:
This is great news for the Devizes Gateway project, and also for Wiltshire generally given the important interchange role that Westbury station has.
Devizes Gateway would bring a station to the largest town in Wiltshire that is currently without a rail link, and this will bring significant travel and economic benefits to both Devizes and the wider local area.
Westbury station is a key rail hub that has capacity issues that impact on train services and interchanges. Addressing these issues would not only benefit Westbury and Wiltshire, but also the wider region.
We're committed to improving public transport in Wiltshire, and although there is still some way to go, we welcome this very good news on Devizes Gateway station and Westbury station.
Devizes Town Mayor Cllr Peter Corbett said:
Good access to train services is essential to any town, and therefore the whole Town Council is extremely pleased that the Gateway Project has moved to the next stage.
The Devizes Town Council is committed to supporting the project as it there are clear economic and mobility benefits to our community, which will support the town to continue to thrive as a great place to live, work and visit.
We will closely follow the project as it progresses through the study.
Paddy Bradley, CEO Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership said of the announcement:
We're delighted that Devizes Gateway station and Westbury station are going to be looked at as part of this study. Devizes Gateway station really opens transport options for residents in Devizes and, with improvements at Westbury station, will improve the local economy.