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Hopes rise over Chineham rail station proposal
A NEW railway station at Chineham has been included in a list of transport projects for Hampshire.
Councillor Mel Kendal, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, included the proposed station in a ‘development pool’ of future transport schemes on his decision day last Tuesday.
The county council has drawn up the list of transport schemes to take advantage of about £36million which will be made available to the Enterprise M3 Local Economic Partnership, which includes Basingstoke, from 2015.
The idea of having a railway station at Chineham on the Basingstoke to Reading line has long been discussed, with its estimated cost of £7m proving a stumbling block.
A report prepared for the decision day stated that the station “would provide access to Chineham Business Park and proposed new areas of growth”.
The list also includes a link road to the north of the Taylors Farm development that would provide access to the business park and the proposed railway station.
Local councillor Martin Biermann, who represents the Chineham ward on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, supports the idea of having a new station, but said that residents have become disillusioned with the lack of action on the scheme.
He said: “I would not hold my breath but once there is an open debate about it, I will be the first one in there saying ‘give us the dosh’.”
Cllr Biermann added that concerns Network Rail had about adding delay to the line might be overcome by the ongoing refurbishment of Reading railway station.
Transport officers will now prioritise the schemes and develop them to include transport modelling and engineering feasibility studies.
Other schemes included in the list are improvements to junctions at roundabouts on the A30, including Brighton Hill Roundabout and Kempshott Roundabout, on the A33 at Chineham, and the A340 north of the A339 Ringway junction.