MORE than 50 years of waiting for a train station in Devizes may come to an end after a new working group said it has found the ‘perfect’ location for it.

Despite only forming in December, the Devizes Development Partnership wants to have the Devizes Parkway station built by 2022 and that it should be by the old Clock Inn pub along the A342 – three miles from Devizes.

The group, made up of rail experts, town and Wiltshire Councillors, put forward its plans to Great Western Rail Service representatives last week in discussions to improving train services across the county.

Chairman of the partnership, Peter Lay, is hopeful that the group can put on a public consultation in Devizes and that talks are already underway with Network Rail and the Department of Transport about making these plans a reality.

“Devizes is the largest town in Wiltshire that does not have access to rail transport and we want to change that as soon as possible,” said Mr Lay, who has worked in public transport for 25 years.

“Our group believes we have found the perfect location for our station. It is on a straight road, that we believe can be widened to let cars go in and out of there. We need to talk to the landowners as well and that will be done soon.

“We only formed a month ago but so far the response we have had has been overwhelmingly positive. It has been 52 years since the town had a train station, which is far too long.

“We have consulted with large businesses in the town and they all said how it is hard to recruit and retain workers when you don’t have a train station for people to commute in on. If you solve that conundrum, that could do wonders for the town.”

Going forward, Mr Lay says they are in talks with TransWilts Rail Group to help with progressing this effort, looking at ways to raise funds and receive grants to put this together and the infrastructure needed to make this possible.

“It will be a park and ride station, that is essential, and we want it to link up with the likes of Westbury, Bath, Salisbury, Southampton and many more,” he said.

“Getting the public behind this is essential. We have got the town council fully engaged on this which is a great start.

“We have to assess the highways implications, talks to Network Rail, deliver an economic strategy, much like a normal application to Wiltshire Council. We are having a meeting next week. It is all progressing very swiftly.”