Council backs calls to re-open Shirebrook to Ollerton rail line

The Shirebrook to Ollerton railway line, which the council wants re-openeing.
The Shirebrook to Ollerton railway line, which the council wants re-openeing.

Councillors have hopped on board the campaign to improve train services in the Mansfield area, including the re-opening of the Shirebrook to Ollerton line.

Calls have been made by Nottinghamshire County Council to boost the service for passengers and businesses alike across the East Midlands.

Talks are taking place with the government to help shape long-term improvements to the region’s rail franchise, currently operated by East Midlands Trains. And re-opening the Shirebrook to Ollerton line is one of the projects under consideration.

“It is already used as a freight line and a test track, and so it already connects to the existing passenger railway on the Robin Hood Line between Nottingham and Worksop,” said Coun John Cottee, of the council.

“Improvements to rail links in this part of the county are much needed to help boost the local economy by creating better access to jobs and tourism sites.

“We urge the government to take the lead and identify funding to make this new passenger line a reality, as well as agreeing to fund the ongoing running costs.

“This council has already funded £200,000 towards an initial feasibility study. So, at a time when councils have difficult budget decision to make, we feel it is only right that an infrastructure investment of this size is met by government funding sources.”

The remaining feasibility work would cost about £1 million. If it got the go ahead, the scheme would involve the re-opening of two former stations at Edwinstowe and Warsop, as well as creating a new station at Ollerton, all estimated to cost about £20 million, with running costs of £1 million per year.

THE county council has stepped up its calls for rail improvements after the shock decision by the government to cancel electrification of the Midland Main Line, which runs through the heart of Nottinghamshire and links to the Robin Hood Line.

It branded the decision “short-sighted and unfair” and is now urging the Department of Transport to take a host of measures to boost services. These include better facilities, especially for the disabled, at all stations across the county, including Mansfield, Sutton and Kirkby, and more competition for East Midlands Trains.