Council leader questions why Government rail revamp plans does not include Bassetlaw

The leader of Bassetlaw District Council has questioned why the Government’s major rail revamp does not include Bassetlaw.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 1:12 pm

Councillor Simon Greaves was responding to news of the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan announced by Grant Shapps last week.

The plan includes extending the Robin Hood Line and reopening the Maid Marian Line.

The plans for the Robin Hood Line, which runs between Worksop and Nottingham would see it extended between Shirebrook and Ollerton, with a stop at Edwinstowe.

Bassetlaw District Council leader Simon Greaves.

The Maid Marian Line, between Pye Bridge and Kirkby and currently only used by freight trains, would link the Robin Hood Line with the main Nottingham to Sheffield railway line.

The plans also confirmed the HS2 eastern leg of the high speed line will now end in Nottinghamshire rather than Leeds, slashing journey times between Birmingham and Nottingham to less than half an hour.

However, a planned HS2 hub at Toton will be scrapped in favour of the high-speed railway line going to East Midlands Parkway. Instead, there will be a new railway station at Toton.

Coun Greaves said: “HS2 was never going to directly benefit Bassetlaw in itself, but it was important to our wider region.

"Looking at the Integrated Rail Plan, my initial thoughts are look at the small print. Lots of caveats and promises.

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"Does anybody believe that this Government is actually going to deliver?

"It’s not even like there is anything for Bassetlaw. Why no Robin Hood Line extension to Retford? Why not look to reconnect Tuxford to the rail network? This is all sadly lacking.

"Levelling up for this Government clearly isn’t about areas like Bassetlaw, where we need investment most.”

Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford has welcomed the news that the eastern leg of HS2 has been scrapped.

“It’s great to see the Government listening to what the majority of people want, rather than a tiny group of people with vested interests,” he said.

“We can now use this money to properly level up transport in the north, protect our wildlife and homes, and focus on the connectivity we really need.”

Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Ben Bradley, who is also MP for Mansfield, said it as “fantastic news” that HS2 was coming to Notts.

" It is one of the most ambitious infrastructure investments in the history of the UK,” he added.

"It is not just a railway line, it will play a vital role in multi-billion-pound growth and regeneration plans for Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands, and it represents the biggest single investment in our area in a generation.

"It means more jobs, more money coming in, more and better infrastructure, as well as more opportunities for training, skills and apprenticeships.

"It will play a massive part in levelling up our county.

“As well as an HS2 stop at East Midlands Parkway we have that commitment for a link to Toton and a new station there, which could be upgraded for high-speed in the future.

"We’ve got confirmation of the electrification of Midland Main Line, the key railway line from London to Nottingham and the north of England. I’m really pleased.”