A PETITION is underway to reopen the Stonehouse Bristol Road railway station.
The station was on the Bristol and Gloucester railway between Haresfield and Frocester but closed during the Beeching Cuts in the 1960s. A petition has now been started to gain support from Gloucestershire County Council and to reopen it as Stroudwater Station.
Plans for a reopening, which would provide a direct link between the Stroud Valleys and Bristol, had been proposed in 2017.
The former station is also a short distance from the Stroudwater Navigation canal and could help boost tourism.
Stonehouse Town Council and Railfuture submitted a bid to the Department for Transport’s Restoring Your Railway Fund and the proposal was assessed as having potential.
In June, Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie said the DfT was willing to work with her, as well as Stroud District Council and Stonehouse Town Council on the Bristol Road project.
Ms Baillie said the reopening of the station would be a huge boost to the area.
District councillor Mattie Ross, said: “I am very supportive of the petition, it’s a no brainier for Stonehouse to have a station on this line within walking distance of the canal, the town centre, the industrial estate and of course a fine hostelry Stonehouse Court.”
A spokesman for Stroud District Council added: “Improving public transport and lobbying for key infrastructure investment is key, and will play a key part in our ambition to ensure the Stroud district is carbon neutral by 2030.
“The reopening of the railway station at Stonehouse forms part of the Stroud Local Plan and a number of measures are already in place.
“These include safeguarding the land at Bristol Road, Stonehouse as a potential location for a new station on the Bristol-Birmingham line.”
Town councillor Theresa Watt, who started the petition with fellow councillor Carol Kambites, added: “We want to reopen the station as Stroudwater because it’s applicable for the whole of the Stroud Valleys.
“It’s not just for Stonehouse but it will be effective for the whole of Stroud.
“It’s important that the residents from the Stroud Valleys can get to Bristol without having to change, and it will also be for people to work and study in Bristol, as well as for people to come into our area.
“There are thousands of people who work in the industrial estate right next to the former station, and at the moment they don’t any other option apart from driving to work.
After a proposal was submitted to the Railway Fund, the applicants were advised to apply to the New Stations Fund.
To make further progress they require support from Gloucestershire County Council.
The ePetition runs until July 31, 2021.
Sign it at bit.ly/3hpzXit