HAMPSHIRE travellers could know by the end of the month whether a £10 million railway scheme, which would help to solve Eastleigh and Southampton's commuter blues, is still on track.

Last January the Daily Echo revealed how Anglia Railways had unveiled an exciting rail package which would involve a new station opening on Southampton waterfront and a local commuter line linking the city with Romsey, Halterworth and Chandler's Ford.

The plans would also enable passengers to travel from the new station to East Anglia without having to change in London.

Now the fate of the scheme could be decid-ed at a railway summit in Manchester at the end of this month.

A spokesman for Anglia Railways said that there were problems over routing to be over-come and the multi-million pound scheme was in the balance.

But he added: "The picture will become clearer and we will know what we are doing in the future when rail operators come together at the National Timetable Conference."

Meanwhile, the demand for the £10 million scheme which will ease traffic congestion, threatening to strangle the Eastleigh and Southampton area, has gathered steam.

This week Eastleigh MP David Chidgey led the calls for the project to be given the green light. "I fully support this. It is long overdue and I want to see this progressing faster.

"It would a great asset to the area and we want to see the reopening of old Chandler's Ford station. "Congestion and pollution is increasing year after year and there is need to provide new services to get traffic of our roads."

Alan Shotter, of the Rail Users Consultative Committee, is still hopeful for the scheme. With the new Saints stadium opening in the St Mary's area Mr Shotter said he would like to see the project linked in with a restoration of the old Northam station.

Converted for the new archive on 25 January 2001. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.