As the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway’s (GWSR) Broadway station approaches its opening on 30 March 2018, Wychavon Council unanimously agreed at its meeting on 10 January, to fund the £650,000 cost of building a car park close to the brand new station.
Councillors spoke enthusiastically about the railway reaching Broadway and the tourism and economic benefits it will bring to the village. Members also encouraged the GWSR to extend towards Honeybourne in the future.
The new car park will be built on a stretch of land alongside the railway between Evesham Road and Childswickham Road. The scheme will include a pedestrian crossing over Evesham Road to allow easy pedestrian access to the station, which is on the opposite side of the road.
Leader of the Council Cllr Mrs Linda Robinson commented that there is a lot of public interest in the railway arriving at Broadway. “It’s a great news story – Wychavon is very happy to support it. It’s a wonderful way to bring tourism into the district and there is the potential for the track to go even further than Broadway. Wonderful, good news,” she told the meeting.
Deputy leader and holder of resources portfolio, Cllr Mrs L R Duffy added: “We want to play our part. It will alleviate parking problems along Station Road [as well as] provide parking for the railway.”
Councillors also felt that the railway would attract many more visitors from the West Midlands for whom the car park would be particularly important.
However, there will be no car parking at Broadway station when it opens on 30 March 2018 and the GWSR strongly urges potential travellers to start their journey at Toddington or Cheltenham Racecourse stations.
Chris Bristow, the railway’s voluntary finance director told the railway’s 900-plus volunteer staff in an internal announcement how delighted he was that the Council had agreed to build the car park at a cost of £650,000.
He explains: “The railway is transferring ownership of the land on the west side of the railway between Broadway Road and Childswickham Road to Wychavon and they will build a car park for which they receive the income from parking fees. The (railway) Board has agreed that part of the cost of parking will be refunded to passengers who start their journey at Broadway.”
He added that the car park was expected to be completed during 2018, possibly as early as August, adding that the railway doesn’t currently have the financial resources to build the car park itself. “This is the perfect solution for both the GWSR and for Wychavon District Council.”
Latest from Unseen Steam
- Lynton & Barnstaple Railway extension approved
- GCR's Crossing the Canal appeal hits £40k mark
- Swanage volunteers win national 'excellence' award
- Severn Valley secures funding to restore viaduct