Rail link for Charfield moves closer
A NEW railway station for Charfield has moved a step closer.
A multimillion-pound bid for the station is being submitted to the West of England Combined Authority and a public consultation is expected to be launched later this month on the plans.
South Gloucestershire Council says the new station will improve access to jobs, education and services, and will also enable more sustainable travel to and from the village and surrounding area.
The new station would have two platforms linked by a pedestrian footbridge, a public transport interchange, covered cycle parking and car parking.
Plans are being developed by South Gloucestershire Council in collaboration with Network Rail and will be funded by the West of England Combined Authority, if the council's business case is approved.
Council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure Steve Reade said the bid submission was a "massive step forward" for the scheme.
He said: "Opening a new station in Charfield has been a long-held aspiration for the council, one we have never given up on, and is key to encouraging more sustainable travel in our rural communities and achieving our Climate Emergency goals."
Thornbury and Yate MP Luke Hall said: “I am delighted to see the Council is submitting this fantastic bid to help this aspiration become a reality. There has been a huge amount of community support for opening the station, which will help demonstrate to the combined authority the need for a new Charfield station and help get the bid over the finish line.”
The bid was given a cautious welcome by opposition Liberal Democrats, who said they had been "leading the campaign to reopen Charfield station for decades".
Charfield ward councillor John O’Neill said: "Having been campaigning on this issue for a long time, I warn the current administration that submitting a business case and securing funding for the reopening of Charfield station are not the same thing.
"The tone of the administration’s recent publicity makes it sound like the reopening of the station has been given the go-ahead, whereas in reality there will be many more challenges to overcome before we can be sure that the station will be reopening."
He said former Charfield councillor Eddie Gadsby and Wotton-under-Edge Gloucestershire county councillor John Cordwell had worked "over decades" for the station.
South Gloucestershire Council was due to announce engagement events and unveil a "dedicated project webpage" in October, ahead of a potential planning application being submitted next year.
Picture: MP Luke Hall and cabinet member for transport Steve Reade at the station site