Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “The funding awarded from the Department for Transport (DfT) will be used to better understand the issues around reinstating the passenger railway and if appropriate undertake further assessment of the business case for the scheme. This will complement other work we are doing in developing a transport strategy for the Waterside, which is looking at improving bus, walking and cycling provision, alongside possible highway improvements
Hampshire County Council’s Waterside Line proposal was one of 60 applications submitted to the Government, with ten being approved in the recent announcement. The next stage of the process is to assess the proposals to re-introduce passenger rail services to the existing freight only line between Totton and Fawley in more detail, in conjunction with the DfT and other key stakeholders.
Phil Dominey, Senior Regional Development Manager, South Western Railway, said: "We welcome the news that Hampshire’s bid is being taken forward. Alongside the reopening of the route, any business case will need to consider other elements such as rolling stock provision and alterations to track and signalling needed to accommodate services at Southampton.”
Nick Farthing, Chair of the Three Rivers Community Rail Partnership, said: “This is exceptionally good news that the Government have granted approval for the next stage of work in the reopening of the Waterside Line (Totton-Hythe/Fawley) to passengers; I am so pleased to have been a part of this, working with other like-minded people to get this to the next stage, for this crucial piece of infrastructure to serve the Waterside.”