Euro MP candidate plans Taunton Deane and West Somerset rail network shake-up (From Somerset County Gazette)
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Euro MP candidate plans Taunton Deane and West Somerset rail network shake-up
SEVERAL train stations across Taunton Deane and West Somerset could be re-opened if radical proposals went ahead.
Richard Cottrell, Independent candidate for the West in the May 2014 European elections, is calling for a shake-up of rail services in Taunton Deane and West Somerset.
The former Euro MP, who is a member of the European Parliament’s transport committee, said: “I am strongly in favour of a chord line proposal connecting re-opened stations at Wellington, Norton Fitzwarren and Creech St Michael with Taunton station, also calling for an entirely new stop at Taunton Staplegrove.
“Somerset County Council has been looking at a very similar proposal and it’s now time to move forward,” he said.
Mr Cottrell is also supporting an agreement with the private West Somerset heritage railway to restore direct services between Minehead and Taunton, with some services operating to and from Bridgwater.
Stations across Somerset were some of many in the UK which were axed in 1964 as part of the infamous Beeching cuts, and Wellington is thought to be the largest town on the Penzance to London Paddington line without an operating station.
Mark Edwards, deputy leader at Taunton Deane Council, has been drawing up a plan for a Metro rail service between Exeter and Taunton which would see the disused Wellington station re-open.
He said: “I’m very supportive of any plans to find ways of improving the rail network. I am, however, very aware of the major connectivity issues in such a process, which is why I’m concentrating on the work with Devon County Council to re-open Wellington and Cullumpton, which both sit on the main line and are realistic in their ambitions.”
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