THE Government is putting up £50,000 to look into the prospect of opening a train station in the Langport/Somerton area.

The cash handout was announced today (Wednesday) by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his Spending Review.

There has been a long-running campaign for a station to serve the area after the towns' stations were closed under the Beeching cuts in the 1960s.

The closures left a 28-mile gap without a station between Taunton and Castle Cary, the longest section of track between London and Penzance without a station.

The project is one of five schemes to today be promised cash as part of the Restoring Your Railway Fund.

Somerton and Frome MP David Warburton has backed calls for a new station.

We have asked for a comment from him.

Other Spending Review commitments announced today include:

  • A further £55million to help with the response to coronavirus, including £18billion for mass testing, Test and Trace, PPE and vaccines, and £3 billion to support NHS recovery;
  • A funding boost for the NHS. Next year, the health budget will grow by £6.6 billion, allowing for 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more GP appointments. The Government says it is investing in new technologies, building 40 new hospitals, upgrading 70 more and replacing the vast majority of ageing diagnostic equipment;
  • More money for schools, meaning every pupil in the country will see a year-on-year funding increase of at least 2 per cent. There is a commitment to rebuild 500 schools over the next decade and £375 million to deliver the Prime Minister’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee;
  • £400 million to recruit 6,000 new police officers towards a manifesto pledge to recruit 20,000 more police officers by 2023.;
  • More than £24 billion investment in defence;
  • An increase in core spending power for local authorities by an estimated 4.5 per cent, along with more than £3 billion of additional coronavirus support and an extra £254 million of funding to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping;
  • Capital spending of £100 billion next year for investment in roads, rail, hospitals, schools, broadband and housing;
  • A new Levelling Up Fund, worth £4 billion in England and £800 million in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, to build the infrastructure of everyday life;
  • A new National Infrastructure Strategy, and a new UK infrastructure bank - headquartered in the north of England - to work with the private sector to finance major new investment projects across the UK.;
  • Support for every country across the United Kingdom, increasing Scottish Government funding by £2.4 billion, Welsh Government funding by £1.3 billion, and £900 million for the Northern Ireland Executive.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Today’s Spending Review delivers the priorities of the British people.

“Our health emergency is not yet over, and the economic emergency has only just begun, so our immediate priority is to protect people’s lives and livelihoods.

“But today’s Spending Review also delivers stronger public services - paying for new hospitals, better schools and safer streets.

“And it delivers a once-in-a-generation transformation in our approach to infrastructure. Creating jobs, growing the economy and increasing pride in the places people call home.”