How close are plans for a Devizes Gateway railway station to becoming a reality?

  • See the proposals for a new 'Devizes Gateway' railway station

The Wiltshire town of Devizes has moved a step closer to having a railway station again.

The government is funding a £400,000 Network Rail study into the proposal, which is a key step in the planning process.

The original Devizes station, on a branch line in the town centre, closed in 1966 and campaigners say the area of 31,000 people needs a replacement. But the old line has since been built on.

If it goes ahead, the new Devizes Gateway Station would be built three miles south of the town near Lydeway, on the mainline between Westbury and Pewsey. It would include an access road, car park, two platforms and an overbridge.

Wiltshire councillor Tamara Reay said: "Devizes and the surrounding villages have a sizeable population but actually they are really cut off from places.

"The road links aren't great, the buses take forever to get anywhere - there are real opportunities for the people and businesses of Devizes if they were better connected."

The site of the proposed station, currently a pedestrian crossing on the mainline. Credit: ITV News

Some people have expressed concern over the building of a station on greenfield land, and argue its location would mean more traffic to and from the site.

But the scheme's designers say it will incorporate buses, bike paths and reduce car dependency overall.

The study will be led by Network Rail, working in partnership with Wiltshire Council, Great Western Railway and other local partners. It will build on the work undertaken for the Devizes Gateway Strategic Outline Business Case, which was submitted to the Department for Transport in November 2021.

The study will be made up of two main elements. The first of these will focus on Devizes Gateway and look at station infrastructure requirements, train services and station transport connections, such as bus services and cycling routes.

The second element will focus on Westbury station and look at a strategic vision and timetable planning.

The study is due to be completed in March 2023.