By Saul Cooke-Black

PLANS to re-open the Bristol Road railway station in Stonehouse have been dealt a fresh blow.

Network Rail refused to consider the railway line in its latest round of funding.

At a meeting of Stroud District Council’s strategy and resources committee last Thursday, October 1, Cllr Chris Brine (Lab, Stonehouse): said “It is very sad.

“It does not seem the station will open in the near future or even in the distant future.

“Stonehouse is growing out of all recognition and if we could re-open the railway it would help bring more business to the town.

“I know people who would love to travel from cities like Bristol but they are put off because there is not a direct line.

“This is such a knock back for the town.”

The re-opening of the station would enable commuters to travel directly to Bristol and Birmingham.

Currently passengers have to change trains at either Gloucester or Swindon.

Stroud MP Neil Carmichael has also backed calls for the line to be re-opened, saying it would be a “vital factor” in bringing further economic growth and development to the district.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Our funding does not currently include provision for reopening this station.

“However, a business case could be developed by a third party, such as the local authority, who could work with Network Rail and the train operator.

"Any proposal would need to demonstrate a solid business case and represent good value for money.”