A 500-SIGNATURE petition is calling for the reinstatement of the rail platform at Grimstone as a request stop.

Petition organiser Jack Bleasdale says surrounding villages are without any public transport and those without access to a car might well use the rail line – if the platform could be re-opened as a halt.

Grimstone is on the Weymouth to Bristol line between Dorchester West and Maiden Newton. Services are operated by Great Western Railway.

Certain, little-used smaller stations (halts) on the scenic ‘Heart of Wessex’ route act as request stops only, meaning that passengers on board trains have to inform the guard if they want to get off there, or flag down passing trains if they are waiting on the platform.

The petition has been sent to Network Rail, West Dorset MP Chris Loder and Dorset Council.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Petitions calling for the station to be reinstated have been sent to authoritiesPetitions calling for the station to be reinstated have been sent to authorities

Mr Bleasdale says that although the station building has been demolished there is space between the Minster Fuel depot and Grimstone viaduct for a 40-60m platform.

The Grimstone and Frampton train station opened in January 1857 and was closed in October 1966.

Said Mr Bleasdale: “This is a golden opportunity to give a much needed public service to a network of villages that are desperate for it…We need one platform and access to it and this would revolutionise all the villages around Frampton and Stratton.”

He says that with no bus service and taxi fares at £13 one-way there might be enough people willing to use the service to make it work.

Dorset councillor for the area David Taylor is backing the proposal. He says it could be a relatively cheap and efficient way of providing better transport links for the villages while at the same time reducing the need for car or taxi journeys, helping with the climate emergency.

Cllr Taylor says he is also interested in exploring how better use can be made of existing cycle routes, bridleways and paths to allow people to travel safely.