The petition of residents of Taunton Deane,
Declares that a new railway station in Wellington in the constituency of Taunton Deane should be opened; further that this project has a local support from residents and businesses; further that the rapidly expanding town is experiencing high volumes of road congestion and that a rail link could help alleviate this and improve local air quality whilst at the same time improving rural transport networks in the area; and further that Taunton Deane Borough Council have committed £40,000 to a feasibility study and pending commitment from the other involved partners we seek the support of the Department of Transport through the New Station Fund.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Department for Transport to open a new metro style railway station in Wellington and support the feasibility study.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Rebecca Pow, Official Report, 9 May 2016; Vol. 609, c. 508.]
Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Claire Perry):
Planning and development of new stations is a matter for local authorities to take forward. Guidance on how to do this is provided by Network Rail on behalf of the rail industry. Department for Transport (DfT) officials are ready to provide advice and an overview of strategic issues.
The Chancellor announced in the 2015 Budget that he was making a further £20 million available in a second round of the New Stations Fund (NSF). Work is ongoing to develop the fund with a launch anticipated shortly.
The NSF is able to contribute up to 75% of the total station project costs, with the remainder coming from local authorities and third parties, however funding is not currently available from the NSF to support feasibility studies or initial development works.
New stations are expected to cover running costs from the farebox and this needs to be demonstrated in the business case. Funding would need to be secured from locally determined funding sources to pay for any subsidy the service might need, in particular during the first three years of operation.
Identifying train services may be the biggest challenge in making the case for a new station. The local authorities should liaise with the train operator and Network Rail to determine what services are feasible at the new station.