A RAILWAY station at the gateway to Pembrokeshire is to re-open after being closed for over 50 years.

Up to £4.7m will be provided by the UK Government to enable the station at St Clears to once again be a recognised stop on the Haverfordwest to Carmarthen line.

Efforts to have the station re-opened, ongoing since the 1970s, gained impetus this year when the location was chosen by the Department of Transport as one of four station re-opening bids out of 12 to go through to the final level.

Over 1,200 people signed the Next Stop St Clears petition urging the Welsh Government to recommend St Clears to Network Rail for a new railway station.

The announcement of the funding has been welcomed by MP Simon Hart, who has championed the station's cause.

He said today, Thursday November 26:

“I am delighted that this project has been recognised as vital to this part of Wales, I must admit that there have been times during the 10 years we’ve been campaigning that I thought we were banging our head against a brick wall.

“The feasibility study was completed five years ago and we had an overwhelmingly positive response to a questionnaire that we sent out in conjunction with St Clears Town Council last year, but it was competing against other projects for funding.

“Transport Minister Chris Heaton-Harris has announced that up to £4.7 million will be provided towards the project with work expected to be completed by 2024.

"This will make a massive difference to the many commuters, shoppers and students who travel from the area, as well as being a big boost for the town.”

The Mayor of St Clears, Councillor Ian Richards said:

“This is brilliant news for St Clears and the surrounding communities, giving a welcome, and much needed, boost during such a difficult year.

"The town council would like to thank the community for their support during the early part of this year to back the railway station bid, which was so important to its success.

"The council would also like to thank the local campaign group who took this work forward over previous years and significantly contributed to this incredible achievement.

"The town council has been working in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council who drove this forward and, with the support from the local MP Simon Hart, the bid to reopen the station has been a success.  This is very good news indeed. Next Stop St Clears!”