Study shows Welborne train station plans are a '˜feasible' proposal

WELBORNE needs a train station.

That is the message following a study, carried out by Network Rail  and commissioned by Fareham Borough Council, concluded a new station at the 6,000-home development would be '˜well used' and '˜technically feasible'.

Councillors for Fareham North, which is where the site earmarked for Welborne currently falls, Pamela Bryant and Louise Clubley have told The News that they think a train station is needed for the area.

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Councillor Bryant said: '˜I think it is very important for the area and it will be excellent news for everyone without a doubt.

'˜The only thing is I am not sure it will be put in the plans before a significant amount of building has taken place.'

But initial worst-case scenario cost estimates are between £19m, for the first phase which would include a single station platform serving the current single line, and £78m, for this to be double tracked with two platforms serving the station at a later date.

The report details that no funding will be available from either Network Rail or South Western Railway and any cash would need to come from local public sources such as the borough council or the Solent LEP.

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Councillor Clubley said: '˜I am also fully supportive of a new train station at Welborne, but would like to find out further clarification on where the funding is coming from.'

There is also a possibility for contributions from Highways England if the scheme is able to demonstrate reduced traffic on the M27.

A Highways England spokesman said: '˜Enhancements to rail facilities always have the potential to help improve the performance of our roads and reduce congestion.

'˜A new station to serve Welborne and the surrounding area could have a positive impact on future traffic flow once the housing development is complete.' 

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The plans for Welborne also include shops, a health centre and three primary schools.

It comes as Hampshire County Council raises concerns over the Junction 10 plans being in place to coincide with the smart motorway upgrade for the M27.

Councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport, said: '˜I am concerned that timescales are becoming very tight for the scheme to be progressed in alignment with the Smart Motorways programme. With funding provided to the county council for development and preparation work due to run out at the end of January, we need some quick decisions from our partners.'

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