I would in no way want to play down the efforts being made by the Cirencester Community Railway Project to re-establish the rail route to Kemble (Wilts and Glos Standard January 30).

The Cotswold District Council indeed have been very generous to financially support a project feasibility study.

However, I would like to point out that as you have reported in the past the cost is likely to be very high and would require government finance.

The latest news that the government is to go ahead with HS2 is likely to result in few funds for other rail projects since the forecast is that there will be massive cost overruns amounting to billions to deliver HS2 and its extensions.

On the other hand the government is now committing itself to providing £5bn for improving bus and cycling networks.

I would like to remind those councillors involved in decision-making that the Cotswold District Local Plan adopted in 2018 made no mention of a light rail link, but did refer in several places to supporting improvements in public transport and walking/cycle networks.

In particular, in reference to the Chesterton Development (7.3.11) it said: ‘The Development will include a comprehensive network of safe and convenient footpaths and cycleways (including necessary improvements to existing routes) linking different uses within and beyond the site, such as the town centre, Deer Park School, Kemble station and the Cotswold Water Park’.

Converting the Cirencester to Kemble former railway line to a walking and cycling path as suggested would be a fraction of the cost of a light railway, and would presumably be eligible for a considerable government grant since it would fit the criteria for ‘green transport’ with potential saving of car journeys and with obvious health benefits.

Tim Charsley