Paulsgrove station plan back on track

Matty Kennedy

Jackett highlights the men key to Pompey’s success

Train bosses have confirmed that Pompey's latest stadium plans mean a £7m railway station at Paulsgrove could be back on track.

Club chief executive Peter Storrie said he was interested in looking at providing a new train station in a bid to transport thousands of fans expected to descend on the new stadium at Horsea Island on matchdays.

And the idea – which could cost between 5m and 7m for platforms, station buildings, resignalling and an accessible footbridge – has been backed by MPs representing the north and south of the city.

Pompey announced last week that they had ditched plans for a new ground at The Hard and instead wanted to build a 75m stadium south of Port Solent as well as up to 1,500 homes nearby.

The city council's head of planning, John Slater, supported the station idea, which has been earmarked at Racecourse Lane in the local plan but was previously dismissed by rail chiefs because there was no business case.

He said: 'The council has long aspired to a train station at Paulsgrove. We need to persuade the operating companies to stop there.

'Football clubs elsewhere do have their own train stations so this is achievable.

'The only thing is that it is not on the main line to London so people would need to change. Maybe it would only operate on matchdays.'

Lib Dem transport boss Alex Bentley said: 'I am fully behind adding stations to the line.'

But Tory regeneration spokesman Simon Bosher raised fears that train operators would say no after recently deciding not to build a station at Farlington.

Cllr Bosher said: 'Just because Pompey are saying they will stump up the cash does not mean that South West Trains will want to stop there.'

But Richard Allen, spokes-man for South West Trains, said they would look at any proposals from the council, Network Rail and Pompey.

'This will put the idea back at the forefront again. It will get the ball rolling,' he said.

Network Rail media relations manager Michael Cavanagh said: 'We will be pleased to look at proposals.'