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Great Western Railway has joined forces with the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership (CRP) to progress ambitious plans to redevelop the Melksham Railway Station site.
The CRP has been working on a masterplan to provide a community café, extra parking spaces and a bus interchange. GWR has now agreed to the principle of leasing the land from Wiltshire Council and taking on the responsibility for the laying out and operation of around 75 car parking spaces at the station. The CRP will work with GWR to develop the business case and see how the proposals can come forward.
The proposal would also enable the sub-leasing of sufficient land to the CRP at a peppercorn rent to erect a community hub, which would provide waiting and refreshment facilities for rail passengers and others. The facilities would also be available for local events.
Work would also be carried out to provide a bus turning area and bus stop to make it easier for people to arrive at the station on public transport.
The news was announced at the TransWilts Annual General Meeting on Saturday 28th April in Trowbridge. In announcing the agreement TransWilts chairman Paul Johnson said, “This deal is another step forward on a project the CRP has been working on for over a year. GWR have studied the plans and believe they would be a valuable addition for rail passengers, as well as others in the local community. Here at the CRP we now have to look at funding sources to ensure the community café comes to fruition.”
Dan Okey, regional development manager said, “The TransWilts line has gone from strength to strength. We have seen phenomenal growth in customer numbers, and have doubled the number of carriages on the route. We are delighted to be working with the TransWilts CRP and Wiltshire Council on plans for Melksham Station. We believe very strongly in community rail and in this route, and we want to see it continue to grow.”