Bristol Road Stonehouse
Steve Knibbs of BBC Points West interviewing Town Councillor Theresa Watt at the site of Stonehouse Bristol Road Station, October 2020
Stonehouse Town Council are promoting a project to reopen Stroudwater Station at Bristol Road Stonehouse. The old station closed in 1965. A new station on the Bristol to Birmingham line would give 55,000 people in the Stroud Valleys a fast, green direct link to Bristol and beyond for work, education and leisure.
Use of rail in Gloucestershire is low compared to national and regional averages. Gloucestershire needs more stations and better direct services to the regional capital. It can be quicker to get to London by rail than to Bristol. To build back the economy from the current crisis and face up to the challenges of climate change, we urgently need to help people off roads and into trains to access jobs, training and leisure opportunities.
We know, most recently from consultation for the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan, that many local people would like to see a new station at Bristol Road Stonehouse. If you would like to support the proposal, you could consider signing the e-petition on Gloucestershire County Council’s website.
Stroudwater Station at Bristol Road Stonehouse would serve 12,000 people who live within a mile, 22,000 within two miles. The population in the catchment area, which runs along the Stroudwater Canal corridor, is now 55,000 and has been growing at twice the rate for Stroud District and the County. Further housing and employment developments are being developed or planned. Stonehouse is an employment hotspot for the District with over 4,000 people working on the industrial estates around the town. Along with Stroud, there is a concentration of successful high tech, IT and green businesses.
The proposal has received long standing cross party support and been promoted by MPs, Stroud District Council and Stonehouse Town Council over some years. In September 2020, Stroud District Council’s Environment Committee passed a unanimous resolution in support of the new station. Ten Town and Parish Councils support the proposal.
In March 2020, Stonehouse Town Council and Rail Future submitted a bid, sponsored by Siobhan Baillie MP, to the Department for Transport’s Restoring Your Railway Fund. Although the bid was not allocated funding, the Department of Transport gave positive feedback on the bid and met with Stonehouse Town Council to advise on next steps. In February 2021, the Department for Transport asked us to submit a bid to Round 3 of the Restoring Your Railway Fund. We have written the bid with support from Stroud District Council and Gloucestershire Community Rail Partnership. Stroud District Council are the sponsor for the bid and will receive funding for feasibility studies if the bid is successful.
We continue to work closely with Siobhan Baillie MP and Stroud District Council to promote the case for the new station to key partners including Gloucestershire County Council, GFIRST Local Economic Partnership and Network Rail.