Carno rail station proposal consultation extended

Carno station The station was closed in 1963 as part of cuts to the railway network

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A consultation over proposals to install a new railway station at a mid Wales town has been extended.

About 500 residents in and around Carno in Powys have already voted.

But another 500 people in villages further afield will now be asked their opinions on two potential station locations.

One of the sites is the original station which was closed in 1963 as part of the Beeching cuts to Britain's railways.

The old station then became a part of the former Laura Ashley site in Carno.

The village lies on the Cambrian line between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury.

'Catchment area'

The Welsh government had originally asked Carno Station Action Group and the community council to conduct a consultation with Carno residents which ended on 22 March.

Action Group chairman Jeremy Barnes said: "The Welsh government has extended the consultation period by two weeks so we can consult with people living in a wider catchment area which could use the station if it reopened."

Questionnaires are now being sent to people in the locality, including the villages of Llanbrynmair, Llan, Bontdolgadfan, Cefn Coch and Staylittle.

A campaign to re-open Carno station started in 2002.

In 2011 Mid Wales Transportation, a group working with the Welsh government, said there was a strong case for future investment in the station after carrying out an appraisal.

Museum

The site could be developed into a tourist information centre centre and a Laura Ashley museum if plans are given the go-ahead.

Fashion designer Laura Ashley had strong links with Carno for nearly a quarter of a century before her death in 1985.

The village was the original Welsh base of the Laura Ashley company and she is buried in a local churchyard.

Laura Ashley's former headquarters there closed in 2004.

Mr Barnes added: "We have met The Ashley Family Foundation who will support, in principle, opening a museum in memory of Laura Ashley if our campaign is successful."

The consultation followed a meeting between the action group and Transport Minister Edwina Hart last October.

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