Sourced from Salisbury Journal - follow link to original article
Plans for a new train station in Wilton are on track, with those leading the project saying it is likely to be part of a wider development involving around 200 to 250 homes and a hotel.
Work on Wilton Parkway, which began in 2015, is making “significant progress”, according to Paul Johnson, the chairman of the community transport partnership group TransWilts.
Speaking at a meeting in Wilton on Wednesday, Mr Johnson said the results on its business case which looks at passenger number forecast for the station are expected to be published next month.
The station in Wilton closed more than 40 years ago but it has been revived to help deal with traffic on the A36 and improve transport across the county.
Mr Johnson said: “From March, the aim is to get Wiltshire Council and the local enterprise partnership fully engaged in the process, accepting the economic case is there and then supporting it with some funding for the next stage.
“The next stage involves getting planning permission and an agreement from Network Rail that the rail service would work.
“At the end of this you reach an agreement in principle which means the government are then able to treat the scheme as shovel-ready and provide funding when available for new stations.
“Typically the Department for Transport would supply 50 to 60 per cent of the funds.”
The scheme is expected to cost between £5.5m and £6.5m with additional funding anticipated from the local enterprise partnership and developer’s section 106 funding.
“Schemes that have a developer tie-in have got opportunities to generate funding to help the station,” Mr Johnson said.
He added: “We don’t think either the station or the housing development will happen without the other one.
“I have made presentations on the scheme to two developers and I don’t think it will be long before a developer will be announced.”
He said the five-and-a-half-hectare site, owned by the Wilton Estate, had the potential for around 200 to 250 homes and a hotel.
The station would provide direct trains to London, Southampton and the airport, Swindon, Bristol and Cardiff.
“Wilton Parkway is all about using the existing park and ride for Salisbury and the existing railway which goes past it,” he said.
“The proposal is for a simple, modern, easy to maintain and relatively low cost station building which will include two platforms, a footbridge and a lift on each side.
“On average the existing park and ride has about 300 spare parking spaces.”
The hotel aims to attract people needing to take the first flight from Southampton Airport or requiring somewhere to stay following the last incoming flight of the day.
The group hope to negotiate a timetable once the new franchise has been awarded in June with the aim of Wilton Parkway being open within the next three to five years.