PLANS for a railway station in Stonehouse which could provide a direct route to Bristol have screeched to a halt.

The town council’s proposal for the re-opening of the railway line was given a second chance in January when it made it through to a final list of priority schemes vying for part of a £9.8 million grant from the Gloucestershire Local Transport Board.

Trains that currently run through Stonehouse station only go to Swindon and London, although there is a line in place to Bristol which officially closed in 1964.

According to Stonehouse town councillor Teresa Watt there has been an ‘increasing need for a direct train from Bristol to Stonehouse’ as a result of the growing industrial opportunities in the town.

In July last year the grant was distributed between four schemes – the A40 bus lane at Benhall, A40 Over roundabout and Highnam Lodge improvements, A40 bus corridor west of Cheltenham and Cheltenham Spa station.

However, the Cheltenham Spa scheme was subsequently withdrawn leaving £3.3 million to be redistributed.

At a meeting yesterday, Wednesday, the board decided to share the remaining money equally between three schemes – the Abbeymead/Metz Way corridor improvements, a re-submitted scheme for Cheltenham Spa railway station and the Gloucester central transport hub.

Cllr Vernon Smith, chairman of the Gloucestershire Local Transport Board, said: “It was a very difficult decision for the board to make and I wish we had more money available to distribute to the excellent schemes which had been put forward to the board for consideration.

“I’d like to wish them all the best of luck and I look forward to watching them grow.”