Weston-super-Mare Railway Station bids for £1m fund
PUBLISHED: 15:46 17 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:44 18 June 2015
WESTON Railway Station will be brought into the 21st century, if it is awarded a ‘crucial’ £1million pot to fund much-needed improvements.
The town’s Conservative MP, John Penrose, has written to the Department for Transport as the station has been put forward to potentially benefit from the Station Commercial Projects fund.
A successful bid would ‘secure the future viability’ of Weston’s station, according to Mr Penrose.
He said: “Improving rail travel to and from Weston is absolutely crucial, both for local commuters and for our tourism industry.
“Passenger traffic is set to grow once electrification and the brand new super express trains are deployed on the route, so we must take advantage of this new opportunity to boost local rail travel.”
Mr Penrose said being awarded almost £1million would allow changes to be made to the railway station over the next 18 months.
Improving access and offering passengers more facilities while they wait for trains, are two things the recently re-elected MP is keen to see happen.
Mr Penrose wrote to the DfT and said: “We need to give local commuters, and visitors to Weston, a better alternative to using their cars and improved station facilities are an important part of this.
“A number of constituents have contacted me about the need to improve accessibility at the station, particularly for elderly and disabled passengers, and to upgrade the facilities to offer people the kind of 21st century service they can expect to receive elsewhere. I strongly support their views.
“Weston joining the scheme would not only encourage people to be green and travel by train more frequently and support the local economy, it would also help secure the future viability of our local train service.”
The Station Commercial Project is a £60million initiative to improve stations for passengers across the country.
Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset’s executive member for transport, is confident meanwhile rail links to Weston will get better in the next few years.
On Twitter, he bullishly claimed passengers will be able to get to London in less than two hours by the time of the next council elections in 2019.