'Mansfield cannot wait a decade-plus for Robin Hood Line extension'

It will be a long awaited step in the right direction if the plans come to fruition, but excuse my cynicism as I don’t feel confident because the Government make and break promises all the time.

Whether you were for or had reservations about HS2 or not, the fact only the eastern leg has been cut is yet another ‘slap in the face’ for the North and makes a farce of the claims of levelling up, as the North is left disadvantaged once again.

National and international investors will choose the fastest and most efficient locations to do their business and that will be the places with the best transport connectivity, which is not Mansfield.

Transport in the East Midlands has been seriously underfunded for decades, so what progress has been made on the electrification of the Midland Mainline which was first announced in 2012 and has

Transport in the East Midlands has been seriously underfunded for decades, says Andy Abrahams.

since been re-announced multiple times?

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‘No progress’

The sorry truth is we have made next to no progress on electrification of the Midland Mainline.

Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor and Labour group leader.

Platform extensions in Kettering is as far as we have got in the best part of 10 years, leaving commuters and businesses in our area in the slow lane.

Despite being pleased about the Government’s ‘damage limitation option’ of building a station at Toton instead of HS2, my key question is how is Mansfield going to benefit?

There has been a passing mention of extending the Robin Hood Line and the Maid Marian east-to-west rail link, but no details of how and where the funding will come and more importantly when will it be built?

Specific funding for these projects should have been made when the Chancellor, in his autumn statement, announced the East Midlands would receive £0 for transport, whereas the West Midlands received more than £1 billion and still gets the HS2 high-speed rail investment.

This is not levelling up, or fair.

I am pressing for our MPs in Mansfield, Ashfield and Sherwood to go back to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and get the specific funding to start these projects in the next financial year.

We have been badly served and starved of infrastructure investment for decades, so we don’t want or need to wait until the high-speed links have been built sometime, ever, never, we just need some connectivity to the slow lane rail routes that currently exist until they have completed their upgrades.

That would start improvement for us in North Nottinghamshire and then I would have some faith as it is actions and not words that speak the truth.

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