According to a report in the Whitchurch Herald, A petition calling for a village railway station to be brought back into use has reached over 100 signatures. Bascurch station, on the Shrewsbury to Chester line, fell victim to the Beeching cuts in the 1960s having served the community for 112 years but residents now say recent growth in the village’s population, and the need to improve public transport to tackle the climate crisis, mean it is time to reinstate it.
A petition by Robert Jones, a former parliamentary candidate for North Shropshire and a Liberal Democrat candidate in the upcoming Shropshire Council elections, is calling on the government and the council to carry out a new feasibility study and has surpassed 100 signatures within days of launching online.
Mr Jones said the move “would open up a world of opportunities for local residents and improve life in communities throughout the area. Baschurch has seen a rapid expansion of housing in recent years. Such growth brings a greater need for more and better connections with the world. A new railway station in Baschurch could bring tremendous benefit to everyone in the area by reducing traffic locally and to the north of Shrewsbury, reducing pollution, creating economic opportunities by connecting residents with jobs, facilities and local services in Shrewsbury and further afield, and not to mention helping to fight climate change.”
Reopening the station has been proposed several times in the past, but Mr Jones believes that this time things are different. He said: “It’s been 14 years since the first study was conducted into the idea and a lot has changed since then. There has been substantial growth in Baschurch, Ruyton-XI-Towns and many other villages nearby, in excess of what was envisaged back then. There is greater concern about the impact of climate change and the need for action. Shropshire Council has declared a climate emergency and the UK government has signed up to the Paris Agreement. These things mean we need to look for ways to make our lives greener. There is no silver bullet but expanding rail travel in Shropshire which already has a considerable network leftover, has got to be an important step in the right direction.”
Under council policy, petitions signed by more than 200 people are discussed by a scrutiny committee and those which reach 1,000 signatures trigger a full council debate. You can sign the petition at northshropshirelibdems.org.uk/transport/sign-petition-to-reopen-baschurch-station.