Hundreds sign petition calling for new Somerset train station

A campaign to bring a train station back to the heart of the Somerset Levels has been put back on track. Sarah Dyke, MP for Somerton and Frome and the Liberal Democrat candidate for the new seat of Glastonbury and Somerton, is calling for urgent assistance to the Langport Transport Group and move forward with the proposed station for the Somerset Levels. The parliamentary petition was prompted by 655 signatures Sarah Dyke’s online station petition received

Langport and Somerton were both served by trains on the line between Taunton and Castle Cary before their stations were closed in the mid-1960s during the infamous Beeching cuts. Funding for a feasibility study into a new station to serve both communities was agreed in May 2021, with South Somerset District Council and local parish and town councils providing funding on top of a £50,000 grant from central government.

Since the railway stations in Langport and Somerton closed in the 1960s, there has been a 28-mile gap in the line between Taunton and Castle Cary, the longest section without a station between London and Penzance. But the Langport Transport Group and Somerset Council have been waiting since July 2022 for a Government response to plans submitted for the new station.

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Both of Langport's original railway stations have seen been redeveloped, with the Langport West site becoming the Westover trading estate and the Langport East site being redeveloped into new homes. Somerton's original station lay down Station Path near the town centre, with the only evidence of its existence today being a 350-metre long siding.

Sarah Dyke used her first Prime Minister’s Question in March to ask Rishi Sunak to drive the project forward and, in the same week, pressed the Minister of State for Rail and HS2 for an update on the station. A written response was promised but has not been received.

Ms Dyke said: “I'm committed to doing everything I can to make the proposed station a reality and, if I'm re-elected, I'll continue campaigning on this issue.

“The people of Langport and Somerton deserve an update from the Government on this project and the fact that they haven’t received one speaks volumes about the Conservatives’ disregard for communities such as ours.

“Building a new station for the Somerset Levels would give more than 50,000 people easy access to the rail network, provide a boost to the local economy and reduce our reliance on cars. It’s time to get this vital project off the ground.”