THE possibility of new train stations at Pontrilas and Withington will be discussed at an event in Hereford next week.

David Edwards, chairman of the Heart of Wales Line, will be speaking on the topic at the event organised by Rail and Bus for Herefordshire.

Pontrilas and Withington stations closed in the early 1960s with the Beeching axe – the nickname given to the route network reduction and restructure of railways in Great Britain.

Gareth Davies, chairman of Rail and Bus for Herefordshire, said: "Since then there have been a number of calls for them to be reopened or new stations built.

"Growth in rail usage over the past decade is an indicator of interest in railways as a strategic part of our transport system.

"Elsewhere in Britain new stations are being opened as part of local transport policies. Why not in Herefordshire? Financial help for stations can be made available via the DFT, Network Rail and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

"However a good economic and social case will be needed. Stations identified as part of the community can be a great help with this along with an assessment of usage and cost."

He said the government already looks favourably on green transport schemes that help reduce dependence on cars and help reduce congestion.

Basic stations, he added, cost somewhere between £4million and £6million, although some are paid for as part of developers contributions through the planning system.

The talk, called Developments on the Heart of Wales Line, is set to take place at 2pm on Wednesday, October 12 at the Merton Hotel on Commercial Road in Hereford.