Blueprint for £15million platform project at Cheltenham Spa Train Station
TWO new platforms could be created at Cheltenham Spa Station at a cost of more than £15 million.
Plans would see the additional bay platforms built to provide a terminus for trains to and from London Paddington and Wales. The blueprint is the work of Cheltenham Development Task Force, the group which is seeking to rejuvenate the town.
The project, which will need to find funding, would mean a massive transformation of the existing two-platform station.
It is hoped the new bays will free up the existing platforms for trains not terminating at the station.
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The new platforms would be particularly helpful when the town hosts big crowd events, like race week, with these passengers able to use the terminus instead of the main station.
Extra car parking would also be created under the plans and room would be carved out for new sidings where waiting trains could be placed.
The existing station would also be refurbished to include new shops.
And, while it is not a specific part of the scheme, the new project would also leave the door open to the creation of a light rail link between the station, along the Honeybourne Line and into town.
The plans have been submitted to the Local Transport Body (LTB) with the hope of receiving funding to carry out a feasibility study.
A number of other bids are already being submitted by other organisations like Gloucestershire County Council, which has asked for money for eight major transport projects.
The overall cost of the train station project has been estimated at £15.5 million.
Jeremy Williamson, managing director of the Task Force, said: "Cheltenham is a bit of a bottleneck at the moment, so this new scheme is about creating extra capacity.
"When the trains start here now, nothing else can pass through, so moving these trains to platforms which are off the main line will allow other trains to get through.
"We really are at the very start of what could be a very long journey."
The plans have already received the support of Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood, Cheltenham Chamber of Commerce, Cross Country Trains and TravelWatch SouthWest.
The LTB will now decide which projects it will support.
The existing ex-Red Star Parcel building would have to be demolished to make room for the new platforms.