Members of several rail groups from around Stratford-Upon-Avon and beyond descended on the site of the proposed new Middle Quinton village to commemorate the imminent departure of a famous old locomotive, and to support the possible restoration of the ‘missing link’ stretch of railway from Stratford to Honeybourne, through Long Marston.
Green Issues Communications, a specialist community consultation group, quizzed delegates about their views concerning the Long Marston to Honeybourne rail link, which was decommissioned in the 1970’s. St Modwen and the Bird Group are proposing to develop a new ‘ECO Town’ on the site of the Long Marston MOD site, where the railway runs through. Part of the unique proposal for this particular site is the prospect of re-establishing this stretch of railway to effectively link Long Marston and the surrounding villages to the mainline rail network.
Tony Bird of the Bird Group confirmed that this aspiration was a very realistic possibility:
“We are currently looking at all options to develop a clear transport strategy that can really improve the existing situation. We are examining ways to re-integrate this rail link, with the objective of linking Stratford itself with this line.
I am delighted by the level of support shown by railway enthusiasts based in the locality, and also for those from wider afield who share our goals in the area.”
As well as supporting the potential restoration of the rail link, many attendees at the rail show expressed support for the wider Middle Quinton village. Fred Leach of the Cotswold Steam Preservation (2807 Locomotive) group said:
“People have to live somewhere. Where better than a brown field site which would not cause local congestion? The rail link is a bonus and could be extended. Why cram more people into existing crowded areas?”
St Modwen and the Bird Group plan to host a series of public consultation events from the 20th – 23rd June to display plans for the Middle Quinton new village. It is hoped that many local people will be able to look at the ideas behind the development of the site, as well as to see for themselves the facts of the Middle Quinton vision.
Notes for editors
The Railway show at the Long Marston engineering depot attracted crowds of between 2,000 and 3,000 people.
Many were local, though several came from as far a field as London and Sunderland
Over 140 people signed a petition supporting the restoration of the ‘missing link’ as part of the overall ECO town proposal
Other comments included:
“Any new rail link is better than road alternatives”
“Ideal site for a new town and hence railway. Better than filling all available spaces in existing crowded towns or in villages”
“Good idea in both regards of ECO town and rail link as a separate commodity.”
“[this rail link is] a much missed means of access to the south Cotswolds. I remember it well.”
“[an] environmentally friendly move.”
“[the] price of oil keeps going up for the motorist so rail transport is needed to replace cars”
The exhibitions will be held at:
20th June – Stratford Leisure Centre at 10am – 5pm
21st June – Long Marston (on site) at 10am – 5pm
22nd June – Evesham public hall at 10am – 4pm
23rd June – Chipping Camden (venue to be confirmed) at 10am – 5pm