Hopes remaining high for Saltford Station
Campaigners have refused to be downhearted by a suggestion that the earliest that the station could reopen is 2019.
Regional transport chiefs have earmarked 2019 to 2023 as the time slot when the station might be rebuilt.
But the Saltford Station Campaign Group says the approach of the West of England Partnership is just one iron in the fire over the reinstatement of the halt which was closed in 1970.
And Bath and North East Somerset Council says it is committed to getting the station open as soon as possible.
Limited Deal. All day wedding photography only £545.00View details
All day wedding photography only £545.00
From Bridal preparations to first dance.
250+ Hi Res images on disc with full printing rights.
Professional photography at affordable prices.
Free no obligation consultations.
Offer subject to availability.
Book before 31st May 2013.
Available in Bath, Bristol and surrounding areas.
Contact: 01225 439257
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The authority is to become the official promoter of the scheme and will come up with development funding to get it on the radar of infrastructure firm Network Rail.
Funds for construction work, which could cost between £5.5 million and £6.5 million, have yet to be found but could come from Network Rail, the operator of the rail franchise, the council or the Department for Transport.
B&NES cabinet member for transport Councillor Roger Symonds (Lib Dem, Combe Down) said: “By becoming the promoter of this project, our administration has signalled to Saltford residents that it is serious about getting the station built.”
The timescale is contained in a report put together by the authorities making up the partnership for the Greater Bristol Metro Project, with the partnership also pressing for the station to be included in rail franchise documents for the region.
Mr Symonds said the council was not dependant on the Metro project’s timescale and had already commissioned experts at transport consultancy Halcrow to investigate the challenges facing the reopening process.
A campaign group spokesman said: “The West of England’s response to the consultation is only one of many calls for Saltford station to be re-opened.
“We will all have to wait to see what finally appears in the specification for the Greater Western rail franchise later this year.
“The station could be funded directly by Network Rail.
“An alternative is that it might be funded by the rail operating company that runs the franchise with B&NES Council acting as the ‘promoter’ of the station.
“Funding might also come from devolved transport budgets to the Bristol area. There are numerous possibilities.”