Open letter to Claire Perry.

Firstly, many congratulations on your appointment as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport. It reflects the hard work that you have done for Devizes and in Parliament.

I am writing about the re-opening of Corsham Station. You may have read in local papers The Wiltshire Times and Gazette and Herald or on my website that I have been championing the local community’s campaign to re-open the station after years of inactivity.

The business case for re-opening Corsham Station is strong and the boost to the local economy is indisputable.

I have written to over 4,000 local residents to gauge interest in the station re-opening. Over 89% told me that they want, and would use, Corsham station if it was re-opened.

Corsham station served the town from June 1841 but closed its doors to passengers in 1965. The local community has been trying for over 30 years to get it re-opened.

As you will be aware, the Conservatives in Government have announced plans to invest billions of pounds in electrifying the rail which runs between Bristol and London, 40 kilometres of which runs through Wiltshire. With electrification we have a real opportunity to get the station open again. Especially given that recent growth of the town which has led to increased public demand for a station in Corsham. We must ensure the Government’s huge investment in local transport infrastructure has the maximum benefit for Wiltshire.

There are so many benefits of having a working railway station. It will stimulate economic growth in the town, we will get more visitors and link more people to jobs and services which will help open up new opportunities for businesses. Electrification means the trains will be far cheaper to run so I will also be campaigning to have that cost saving passed on to fares.

When I invited your predecessor to Corsham to meet with the local campaigners, he kindly agreed to host a meeting at the Department for Transport to bring together the campaigners, Network Rail, local and national government representatives to move this forward. I trust that this meeting is still possible.

Michelle Donelan, Prospective Member of Parliament, Chippenham.