Download the file below complete and send to: Transport Planning Unit, Warwickshire County Council, Shire Hall, Warwick CV34 4SX
Delivering Growth & Connectivity 2017
Read our briefing on Reinstating the Railway between Stratford upon Avon and Honeybourne by clicking and downloading the file here.
The detailed response to the Stratford Area Transport Strategy (SATS) from the Shakespeare Line Promotion Group is also available here.
Support for reinstatement of Stratford-Honeybourne Railway
Responding to the revised Stratford on Avon’s CS to be examined in public in January 2016;
Gloucestershire County Council state;
The provision of frequent public transport services to Stratford on Avon and Honeybourne potentially using the route of the former Honeybourne to Stratford railway line is supported. This would provide a sustainable alternative to the car for residents and employees travelling from/to the proposed development.
Also, reinstatement of the line would provide a strategic link from the North Cotswold line to the Midlands opening up the possibility of direct services from Stratford upon Avon to Oxford and London in the east or to Worcester in the west. Similarly, safeguarding land for a potential new station adjacent to the former line is supported as this will reduce car usage from the proposed new development as well as attracting users from the surrounding area.
Worcestershire County Council state;
Worcestershire County Council would expect, as part of the optimum solution to the problems of traffic on inadequate rural roads in this particular area, the construction of a new railway station at Long Marston, and works to the existing railway line between Long Marston and Honeybourne to make it suitable for the regular operation of a passenger rail service between the new station at Long Marston and the existing station at Honeybourne.
Referring to the A435 at Alcester and Studley Worcestershire County Council go on to state:
There is, therefore, growing pressure on this route into the West Midlands conurbation and one way to ease the pressure on this route would be to construct a new railway line between Long Marston and Stratford upon Avon. This would allow development of new rail services directly between Long Marston and stations in the West Midlands. Worcestershire County Council recognises that this proposal would have major impacts in the Stratford upon Avon area, but considers the strategic benefits – in terms of relieving traffic congestion whilst allowing growth in housing numbers and employment opportunities in the border areas of Warwickshire and Worcestershire - would make the upheaval involved worthwhile.
SWO has asked a number of Parish Councils to the south-west of Stratford upon Avon, together with other parishes where tidal flows of traffic pervade their communities in the morning and evenings, for their position on re-opening the railway line between Stratford upon Avon and Honeybourne. Those Town/Parish Council's that have confirmed their support for reopening the railway between Stratford upon Avon and Honeybourne are:
Evesham Town Council,
Chipping Campden Town Council,
Mickleton Parish Council PC,
Bidford on Avon PC,
Aston Cantlow PC,
Henley in Arden & Beaudesert Joint PC
Small Businesses Growth – Stratford upon Avon
The potential to attract at least double the level of footfall into Stratford's town centre stands the best chance of expanded rail services that would arise from re-opening Stratford-Honeybourne. Worcester would be only a 35-minute journey with Oxford also within 49 minutes. Direct services to Reading (for Gatwick Airport and Western Rail Access to Heathrow ) and London Paddington (Crossrail and 4 tube lines) could return to the town along what is a popular InterCity tourist route that also serves the attractions of Windsor, Oxford and the North Cotswolds. Rail currently accounts for 6% of tourist visits to Stratford upon Avon against a national average of double of 13%. If Stratford was once again on a through rail route instead of being severely limited because it is currently a terminus, there is a potential to increase visitors by rail by over 100%.
Greater Connectivity for Stratford upon Avon and South Warwickshire
Many people in and around Stratford upon Avon welcome and support the reinstatement of the railway line because of the much faster and better connectivity it would provide to them. In addition to direct services to Oxford and Worcester and intermediate communities,the new Worcestershire Parkway, open from 2017, would enable connectivity with the South West and South Wales. A new Parkway station at Long Marston would significantly reduce vehicular traffic, especially at peak times, and could provide a direct to link to Birmingham with a journey time of only 58 minutes.
A tram or bus facility between Long Marston and Stratford upon Avon would be a sub-optimal service and not provide the much greater connectivity that both Long Marston and, crucially, Stratford upon Avon needs. A tram would not provide the capacity needed, and would be no cheaper than rail unless it crossed Evesham Place at road level, introducing unacceptable conflict with road users. Only a railway line providing direct rail services north, south, east and west connected with the national rail network can provide a sustainable means of public transport that would attract modal shift and thus deliver real mitigation for existing local communities.
Reinstatement of the railway maintains the retention of The Greenway, as it will be a single track. Throughout the UK, there are a number of places where similar footpath/cycleways co-exist with and alongside railway lines. The reinstatement of the line at and near to Evesham Place can be addressed by tunneling techniques already deployed elsewhere in the UK with railway lines. These provide, after construction, minimal visual and noise intrusion. The railway line would not be used for freight traffic.
Addressing the need for Mitigation
SWO believe that, with some 5,900 new homes proposed to be built between 2015 and 2031 in and around the Long Marston area, it is incumbent upon Stratford on Avon District Council and Warwickshire County Council to seek maximum mitigation for existing communities of South Warwickshire, East Worcestershire and North Gloucestershire.
SDC & WCC should seize the moment and indeed the opportunity through its Core Strategy and the Infrastructure Delivery Plan to include reinstatement of the railway line between Stratford and Honeybourne. To support this SDC & WCC should:
- Seek the formation of a partnership with the neighbouring district authorities of Cotswold and Wychavon together with Gloucestershire and Worcestershire both of whom support the reinstatement.
- The partnership should seek a significant element of funding from developers to complement public funding to facilitate a GRIP 4 and Economic Impacts Study/Report into the reinstatement including a new station at Long Marston.
“Without Stratford on Avon District Council and Warwickshire County Council securing reinstatement of the Stratford-Honeybourne railway the scale of development planned for the Long Marston area will lead to the irremediable diminution in the quality of life and amenity for many residents in South Warwickshire, East Worcestershire and North Gloucestershire as well as many people in and around Stratford upon Avon.” SWO
Published 29 December 2015