A push for better transport links, including an extension to the Robin Hood Line, has resulted in Mansfield’s MP lobbying a senior government minister.
Ben Bradley held talks with the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, in a get-together that also included Conservative colleague, Sherwood MP Mark Spencer.
The main concern raised by both Mr Bradley and Mr Spencer was the need for a proposed extension to Mansfield’s train line to go ahead.
It would take the line into Warsop, Edwinstowe and Ollerton, linking local people to new jobs at the former Welbeck and Thoresby Colliery sites, as well as boosting tourism in Sherwood Forest.
Mr Bradley said: “Rail and road links in north Nottinghamshire leave a lot to be desired, which is a shame given what the area has to offer in terms of employment and tourism opportunities. We particularly need to connect the new employment areas at the former pit sites to the network, and also to improve roud routes from east to west to connect the M1 and A1.”
The previous Conservative Government earmarked funding for two new stations on the Robin Hood Line. Now Mr Bradley and Mr Spencer are keen for those to be built. The line’s franchise, currently operated by East Midlands Trains, comes up for renewal in the coming months and, in their meeting with Mr Grayling, the two MPs stressed the need for the new franchise holders to invest in improving what is often seen as a slow and unpredictable service.
“I want to see not only a high-quality train service on the Robin Hood Line, but also one that showcases what the area has to offer and enhances its huge economic potential,” said Mr Bradley. “That is why I think we need both an improved service to encourage commuting to Sheffield and Nottingham, and an extension to the line to improve tourism in Sherwood Forest.”
Separate concerns about road infrastructure in the Mansfield area were also raised by Mr Bradley, most notably the possibility of widening the A617 to cope with extra traffic. He hoped too for funding to solve problems with the ‘Sainsbury’s junction’ on the A60 in the town centre.
“We will continue to have conversations to find solutions to these issues,” said Mr Bradley.