THE reinstatement of passenger rail services between Ludgershall and Andover was discussed during an MP-led meeting earlier this month.

Devizes MP Claire Perry called a meeting of key local stakeholders on Friday, 3 November, to discuss the possibility of re-opening the railway line that is currently only used by the Ministry of Defence.

If the business case proves viable, the project could see the return of a shuttle rail service to Andover for the first time in over 50 years.

Much of the rail infrastructure is in place and the service is expected to bring further economic expansion to Ludgershall and Tidworth, which are already benefiting from housing and population growth from the Army Basing Programme.

Following the meeting, Mrs Perry said: “Re-opening the Andover to Ludgershall railway for passengers is an exciting possibility and I wanted to host a meeting of experts to help get the project on track.

“There is, of course, much more work to do and I am pleased that in the first instance that Swindon and Wiltshire Local Economic Partnership has agreed to conduct an initial feasibility study, and to include this project in the planned Regional Rail Strategy for Swindon and Wiltshire.

“My thanks go to Councillor Owen White, and Ludgershall and Andover Town Councils for their continued work to champion this brilliant opportunity for the local area.”