News that £4.6 million has been secured for a major transformation of Taunton Rail station through the Government’s Local Growth Fund has been welcomed by Prospective Conservative MP for Taunton Deane, Rebecca Pow:
‘I have been championing this cause and was delighted that the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin accepted my recent invitation to come to Taunton to see the potential benefits of this project for himself. He was very impressed and I am so pleased that against some other extremely competitive bids this project has been selected to receive this vital funding. It is a key to the future development of the town and includes re-orientating the rail station, better passenger facilities, retail opportunities and improved parking. It also paves the way for the long awaited development of the Firepool site.’
The £4.6 million station Masterplan is backed by Network Rail, First Great Western, Taunton Deane Borough Council and Somerset County Council who put in a joint bid as part of a larger Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership bid to the Growth Fund.
Commenting to Rebecca Pow on the project, The Secretary of State, Patrick McLoughlin said: ‘Rebecca organised the rail event extremely well and generated a high level of interest. I believe that transport plays an integral role in the development of communities and allowing opportunities for economic growth. This is clearly the case for Taunton and it is the type of scheme that I envisaged when the Local Growth Fund money was announced. It will clearly benefit Taunton and add another chapter to the town’s rich history.’
The proposed development project will enable the station to handle the predicted 40% increase in passenger traffic within the next 6 years and will confirm Taunton as the gateway to the South West. Taunton Rail Station is on the main rail line between Bristol and Exeter and a key centre when flooding occurs to the north and south of Taunton or when maintenance works are in progress. Journey time to London is just 90 minutes.
Photo: Alain Lockyer