Somerset

Railway station may return to Shepton Mallet

Railway tracks
Image caption Shepton Mallet previously had two stations - High Street and Charlton Road

Rail services could be restored to a Somerset town under a new vision from the local authority.

Mendip District Council has voted to allocate £320,000 towards developing a business case for major new transport projects in the district.

The projects include a new "Shepton Parkway" railway station and a new bypass near Street.

Councillor Tim Killen said: "Some may think 'it is just a pipe dream'. They said that about the Frome bypass."

The Local Democracy Reporting Service stated the council will progress with the studies, providing evidence which could help to secure funding from central government to take the projects, including relieving pinch points on the A361 near Glastonbury, forward.

Shepton Mallet previously had two stations - High Street and Charlton Road - which both closed in the mid-1960s as a result of the Beeching report.

The town's nearest mainline station is Castle Cary, more than seven miles away.

Mr Killen, portfolio holder for economic growth, stated in his report: "Significant technical investigations are now needed to fully understand our local infrastructure requirements and examine the environmental opportunities and constraints in the future."

A progress report on these projects will come back before the council after the local elections in May.

Council leader Harvey Siggs said Mendip had "often been ignored" by the government regarding infrastructure funding, and warned it would "feel like a long haul".

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