Devizes on track for new train station after government grant

Plans to open a train station near the Wiltshire town of Devizes have moved a step closer to reality after the project won government money to develop a business case.

The station would be built on the mainline at Lydeway, three miles south of the town, a replacement for the original central station which closed in 1966.

The proposed station site at Lydeway, currently a bridleway crossing Credit: ITV News West Country

‘Devizes Parkway’ would form an extra stop between Westbury and Pewsey, on the fast line to Reading. Plans include a new access road from the A342, a car park, overbridge and two platforms on the mainline.

A safe cycle route would also be built from Devizes town centre to encourage green travel.

Planners have deemed it impractical to reopen the old town centre station, on a now-defunct branch line.

The actual station site is now Station Road Car Park, and the nearby railway tunnel is a shooting range.

The station and branch line were closed in sweeping 1960s cuts - an attempt to make British Rail profitable, instigated by the now-infamous Dr Richard Beeching.

Station Road Car Park, once the site of Devizes Station. Credit: ITV West Country

Fast forward to 2020, and there is widespread support for more rail travel.

In February the Government announced a half a billion pound Restoring Your Railways Fund.

The Devizes plan was one of 10 schemes to win some of that money to put together a formal business case - an important first victory in a competitive field.

Already this year, the UK has gained a new station: the £10.55 million Horden Station in County Durham welcomed its first passenger train in June.

Like Devizes, the original Horden station had been a victim of the Beeching cuts.