Somerset County Councillor Marcus Fysh has called for the train line at Chard Junction to be reopened.

He has revealed plans for a number of upgrades to local rail infrastucture to improve connections and economic opportunities.

The prospective Conservative MP for the Yeovil constituency said: "Improving our local infrastructure is crucial to our quality of life as well as the healthy economy we need to provide the jobs and opportunities for ourselves and our children. That's why investing in rail transport is a key part of my plan for our area.

"It's why I've been pushing hard with Conservative rail minister Claire Perry and the train operators to get more investment in our local rail system, to make it more resilient and to provide more local opportunities, with a focus on upgrading Yeovil's connections and getting Chard Junction reopened.

"It has always seemed a missed opportunity to me that the Weymouth-Bristol and Exeter-London lines are no longer connected by rail services that give direct connections to onward destinations, given the connecting line is still there between Yeovil Pen Mill and Yeovil Junction. There are several obvious benefits of reconnecting them, including enabling commuters from Sherborne, Crewkerne and beyond to come into Yeovil by train with smart scheduling and more frequent services.

"Getting Chard Junction reopened is also a crucial step in improving Chard's connections and prospects in a similar way, including that of regenerating the industrial park which looks sadly like it will lose Dairy Crest. Both the immediate Chard Junction area and the town of Chard would benefit from more visitor traffic and the ability to travel out by rail.

"Making our town centres and market towns more attractive and convenient places to live and visit should help get them the investment and regeneration they need. That's why I've been so keen to see this happen, as part of my plan to revitalize them."

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