Renewed calls to extend Mansfield railway line

Nottinghamshire MPs have met the Transport Secretary to call for improvements to the county’s railways.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 2:51 pm

Ben Bradley, Lee Anderson and Mark Spencer met Grant Shapps to discuss plans to extend routes within the county.

Mr Bradley, Mansfield MP, and Mr Spencer, Sherwood MP, want the Robin Hood line between Nottingham and Worksop, via Mansfield and Ashfield, extended.

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From left, Sherwood MP Mark Spencer, Mansfield MP Ben Bradley and Ashfield MP Lee Anderson with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps,.

Mr Bradley MP said: “Joining up our smaller towns and villages will provide excellent opportunities for people to travel and work throughout the county.

“For far too long, people have felt isolated. An extension to the line will ensure people in the north of the county will get the same access to employment, education and leisure services as the rest of the constituency.”

Mr Anderson, Ashfield MP, wants a route between Kirkby and Pye Bridge reopened to passengers as the Maid Marian Line, which could see trains run from Kirkby to Nottingham, via Pinxton and Langley Mill.

He said: “Railways have played an important role in our past, but we need them to play a much larger role moving forward.

“Hopefully we can continue to press government to ensure we have a first-class local railway system that will give everyone in our area a fair chance to move freely around the county.”

As part of winning the franchise to operate trains in the region, East Midlands Railway is required to submit a case to the Department for Transport about extending the Robin Hood Line.

Michael Ellis, then transport minister, told Parliament last summer: “That will be reviewed to decide whether the line should be extended, mitigating the risk of reopening a line that might not be financially and economically beneficial.”

A DfT spokesman said: “Our focus is on levelling up infrastructure across the country, which is why we have announced a £500 million fund to help reverse cuts made under the Beeching closures.

“This will help unleash the potential of towns and communities across the country, ensuring passengers see new stations and better journeys.

“EMR is required to submit a business case to the extension of the Robin Hood line and we look forward to receiving it.”