THE possibility of re-opening Boscombe Railway Station has again surfaced after nearly a decade.

The station opened in 1897, serving the former Royal Victoria Hospital, the centre of Boscombe and the then-Dean Court, but due to its proximity to Pokesdown Station its closure was recommended in the Beeching Report of 1963.

The last tickets were sold on October 3, 1965.

Yet while its re-opening remains unlikely, a spark of hope was kindled at a full council meeting on Tuesday.

Ward councillor Philip Stanley Watts, who was last involved in efforts to reopen the station in 2009, asked: "What with the Government's connectivity schemes, would the cabinet member support the reopening of Boscombe Railway Station, which in itself could support AFC Bournemouth's transport links?"

Cllr Mike Greene, cabinet member for transport, said he would put the idea to current franchise holder South Western at a meeting later this month, although he was not optimistic.

"I would support any realistic initiatives which would ease the traffic problems associated with AFC Bournemouth's home games," he said.

"However, I am aware that the station was closed over 50 years ago and that the platforms would likely need extending to accommodate longer trains.

"Additionally, Cllr Stanley Watts will know about the fantastic result achieved by his colleagues in Boscombe East in campaigning for lifts at Pokesdown station, but this has made us aware of just how much it would cost to make Boscombe station accessible to all."

Back in 2009, Network Rail indicated it did not consider the station a priority, and work to install new lifts and extend the platforms was expected to reach £5m or more.

Cllr Greene said a move towards greater public transport was nevertheless necessary for the town.

"As Bournemouth's population continues to grow and as we continue to have this sort of economic prosperity, so problems around our town with congestion will continue to grow, and frankly, in maybe 10 years, our road networks will just not be able to cope," he said.

"That will leave the council with two fundamental choices, both of which would be incredibly expensive and would need national funding.

"One would be a major programme of road building to be able to ease that congestion, but it is unlikely that would be able to cope with things for very long.

"The alternative is we can invest in the infrastructure to encourage a fundamental and substantial modal shift to sustainable transport methods, which may involve opening railway stations, planning new light rail lines."