4th Dec, 2016

Honeybourne rail line campaigners seeking MP support

Stratford Editorial 27th Jun, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

CAMPAIGNERS who want to see the Honeybourne rail line re-opened are seeking the support of councillors and MPs.

The Avon Rail Link group have published a report highlighting the benefits reopening the line would bring to Stratford and are now urging Stratford District Council, Warwickshire County Council and the county’s MPs to give their backing.

Earlier in the year the Prime Minister appeared to show his support for the re-opening of the Stratford to Honeybourne railway line when he attended a conference in his constituency, which aimed to build a case for more local services and improved long distance services to London and Heathrow from Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds.

The Stratford-Worcester-Oxford (SWO) group have previously accused the county council of passing the buck and not taking a stance on the possibility of connecting the town to neighbouring counties.

The campaigners said county council chiefs had wasted an opportunity by refusing to support a study into the viability of the six mile link between Stratford and Long Marston.

Avon Rail Link group member, David Capron said: “The report firmly establishes the viability and many benefits of the long sought rail link and we call upon the councils to agree in principle to progress the reopening.”

Worcestershire and Gloucestershire county councils and eight surrounding parish and town councils have voiced their support for reopening the Honeybourne line.

Both authorities based their support on the need to provide relief in towns like Stratford from the ever-increasing number of vehicles on rural roads.

SWO also believe the line is needed in light of proposals to build some 5,900 new homes at Long Marston.

The group argue re-opening the line would have huge economical benefits as well as providing a direct line to both Worcester via Evesham, and Oxford via Moreton-in-Marsh.

The line closed in 1976 due to then financial constraints on British Rail.

Visit www.shakespeareline.com for more information.