Plans to reopen Fawley branch line railway vetoed

Hythe Station on the Fawley branch line

Hythe Station on the Fawley branch line

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

A PLAN to reopen a railway that closed almost 50 years ago has hit the buffers.

Transport boss Sean Woodward yesterday formally rejected a proposal to restart a passenger service on the Fawley branch line.

The line was axed in 1966 as a result of savage rail cut backs across the country following the recommendations made by Dr Richard Beeching.

A report concluded that the scheme is unlikely to secure the necessary funding – mainly because of the “low demand” for a new rail service.

Making his decision, Cllr Woodward said: “The purpose of the feasibility studies was to work out whether there was actually a viable scheme and if it carried a chance of being delivered.

“And the work that has been carried out shows that the business case was a long way adrift of it being viable.

“It’s not that we would like to open a railway line. I would love to open a railway line if the whole thing was viable and stacked up.

“The owner is Network Rail and Network Rail does not support the project and that means we cannot proceed further.”

In 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) suggested the line should be reopened to ease congestion on the A326 and other roads between Southampton and the Waterside.

Costing £17m, the proposal includes new stations at Hythe and Hounsdown. But a Hampshire County Council report cites the “relatively low level of demand” for a new passenger service on the Waterside which would not justify subsidy or private investment.

The plan had met with opposition among some residents, which included a 439 name petition against it by people living, working and visiting the area. A big fear among opponents was the impact a revived train line would have on people living next to the line as well as stealing passengers from existing bus service and the historic Hythe ferry.

Comments (3)

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12:52pm Wed 22 Jan 14

The Mad Dog says...

"low demand" How did they reach that conclusion when no-one was asked?
439 'selected' people signed a petition against it and that included 'visitors to the area'
Unbelievable, short-sighted nimbyism in all its glory.
Lets have the rail link opened. After all that 'Homes Under the Hammer' program are always saying that good rail links improve house prices.
"low demand" How did they reach that conclusion when no-one was asked? 439 'selected' people signed a petition against it and that included 'visitors to the area' Unbelievable, short-sighted nimbyism in all its glory. Lets have the rail link opened. After all that 'Homes Under the Hammer' program are always saying that good rail links improve house prices. The Mad Dog
  • Score: 13

1:19pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Niel says...

Rather shut it completely and run buses on it like they do for Turk-Town probably....
Rather shut it completely and run buses on it like they do for Turk-Town probably.... Niel
  • Score: 1

2:08pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Ginger_cyclist says...

Build a guided busway alongside it instead? Wouldn't need new buses, just retro fit the guide wheels to existing vehicles.
Build a guided busway alongside it instead? Wouldn't need new buses, just retro fit the guide wheels to existing vehicles. Ginger_cyclist
  • Score: -6

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