Devizes Gateway station bid on track as council updates on progress
Plans for a new station outside Devizes are progressing well, as Wiltshire Council and partners continue to develop a Strategic Outline Business Case for the project.
In May 2020, Wiltshire Council, working with the Devizes Development Partnership, was successfully awarded up to £50,000 from the Department for Transport’s (DfT’s) Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund to develop an SOBC for the station – Devizes Gateway.
The SOBC is the first stage of the DfT’s business case process. It sets out the case for building a new station, and how the plans would fit strategically into local priorities and wider government transport ambitions.
Using the DfT funding, a grant from the council’s Devizes Area Board, Section 106 funding and other council funding, a draft SOBC was completed in May, and sent to the DfT for its feedback.
These comments from the DfT – along with those from Network Rail – have now been received by the council, which is working on adding more information to the bid.
Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, cabinet member for transport, said: “We’re committed to improving public transport in Wiltshire, and that is why we submitted bids to develop the Devizes Gateway station project, and two other new stations in the county – Wilton Junction and Corsham.
“We are yet to hear from the DfT on the Wilton Junction and Corsham bids, but in the case of Devizes, we’re working to improve the SOBC and submit it to DfT in the next month or so.
“If the SOBC submission is successful through the Restoring Your Railway process, the DfT has indicated that any local funding secured during the development stage will be taken into consideration when deciding whether to build the scheme.
“If we’re successful in fully developing the scheme, it is anticipated that construction would begin in 2025 and the new Devizes Gateway station would be operational in 2027.”
Paddy Bradley, Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership CEO, said: “We very much welcome the continued development of the strategic outline business case for the additional station at Devizes as outlined in our Rail Strategy.
“This station would serve a wide catchment across Wiltshire where access to the rail network is currently poor as well as boosting the local economy for our business community.
“Rail is already one of the cleanest methods of moving people and products across the country and this new station will help to reduce our emissions as we look to reach the UK government’s target to achieve net zero by 2050.”