A £2.5m funding package has been announced by transport minister Andrew Adonis to provide improvements to the Swindon-to-Gloucester railway line.
The funding has been allocated for preparatory research into double tracking the 12-mile route stretching from Swindon and Kemble, which has been single tracked since 1968.
Adonis said: ‘Doubling 12 miles of the single track between Swindon and Gloucester is an excellent project that has the potential to make a real difference to people travelling through the South Cotswolds on this line. It is also an important diversionary route between South Wales and London when the Severn Tunnel is closed.
‘My department will now work with the South West Regional Assembly and Welsh Assembly Government to explore other funding opportunities for the full scheme. The co-ordination between three organisations is a demonstration of the importance of this project.’
The £2.5m funding package consists of £1.6m from the latest round of regional funding allocations (RFA) and £900,000 from the Department for Transport’s (DfT‘s) National Networks division. An additional £100,000 of funding is being provided by the Welsh Assembly Government.
According to the DfT, work on the project could begin as early as next year depending on the outcome of the report and further funding proposals.