10th Dec, 2016

Feasibility of reinstating Stratford to Honeybourne railway link to be looked at

Stratford Editorial 27th Sep, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THE FEASIBILITY of reinstating the railway line between Stratford and Honeybourne is set to be looked into once more.

The idea has been much discussed in recent years and has divided opinion with as many for the proposed scheme as against.

A study conducted by consultants Arup in 2012 concluded the railway dead-end could be a “promising candidate” for reinstatement.

And earlier this week, Stratford District Council confirmed it would be tabling a bid for funding to the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership in a bid to finance a further study into the project’s viability.

A spokeswoman said: “The district council was approached by a developer to sponsor a proposal to carry out a detailed feasibility study of the reinstatement of the Stratford to Honeybourne railway link.

“The council has retained a neutral position over this project, but given the opportunity to clarify whether this is a viable option to pursue, it is considered supporting the option at this time is appropriate.

“This does not alter the council’s position but will help decide whether the proposal can or cannot be supported in the future.”

Back in June 2013 The Shakespeare Line Promotion Group released their own report in which they claimed they could reduce the cost of the venture from more than £70 million to an estimated £53 million.

In the report, the group proposed a single-track line that would follow along Summerton Way, Seven Meadows Road and continue along the old line on the Greenway.

The group maintained the six-mile track to a new station at Long Marston would have huge economical benefits as well as providing a direct line to both Worcester via Evesham, and Oxford via Moreton-in-Marsh.

Residents have previously protested against the plans, arguing the noise would be unbearable and the railway line would damage green space and footpaths.

And the proposals were also slammed by chairman of the No Avon Rail Group, Tom Baxter, who branded them a “dangerous fairytale.”

In addition to questioning the feasibility, he argued they would have a negative environmental impact and would clash with one of the major principles of the Neighbourhood Plan to keep and enhance green spaces as a priority.

It is understood the latest idea could involve the possibility of the line being dual track for heavy freight.