Maid Marian Line opening and Robin Hood Line extension tipped for green light in £100 billion trains revamp
The Maid Marian Line could be reopened to passengers and the Robin Hood Line extended amid a major government shake-up of rail services, reports today suggest.
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to reveal a £100 billion railways investment in his Integrated Rail Plan tomorrow – although there are fears the planned HS2 eastern leg serving Nottinghamshire will be scrapped.
The Sun said Mr Johnson is expected to announce the old Maid Marian Line between Pye Bridge and Kirkby, linking the Robin Hood Line to the main line between Nottingham and Sheffield, will reopen to passengers, sparking hope of new stations at Pinxton, Selston and King’s Mill.
It also said the Robin Hood Line, between Nottingham and Worksop, via Mansfield and Ashfield will be extended – Coun Ben Bradley, Mansfield MP, and Mark Spencer, Sherwood MP, have long been campaigning for the line to be extended to serve Warsop, Ollerton and Edwinstowe.
Coun Bradley, Mr Spencer and Ashfield MP Lee Anderson, all Conservatives, have cautiously welcomed the news, but said it was unconfirmed as of yet.
Coun Bradley, also Nottinghamshire Council leader, said: “Rumours are flying about everywhere ahead of the Integrated Rail Plan announcement, expected tomorrow.
“If this one is true, that's brilliant news for North Nottinghamshire.
“The Robin Hood Line extension would connect Warsop, Edwinstowe and Ollerton to the rail network, into Mansfield and Nottingham. The Maid Marian Line would then additionally connect the whole area to new jobs at Toton, via Sutton and Kirkby.
“If the Maid Marian Line is in, that must surely mean that our main economic priority for the region – a station at Toton, which would form a new hub for thousands of new jobs – is in too, that's where the Midland Main Line goes. This means connecting Mansfield and Warsop residents to thousands of new jobs.
“It needs confirmation tomorrow of course, but so far the East Midlands will be the big winner.
Mr Anderson said: “It is just speculation at the moment, but it looks like its happening. New stations at King’s Mill and Selston, passenger services returned to Selston for the first time in more than 50 years.”
And Mr Spencer said: “If the IRP supports the extension of the Robin Hood Line it would be fantastic news for the Midlands, North Nottinghamshire and Sherwood.
“The increased rail links would enable families and businesses to travel more freely and open up more opportunities across the board.
“Projects like the Robin Hood Line extension is what levelling up is all about – ensuring communities up and down the UK have access to good and regular public transport services.
“We will have to wait and see what appears in the Integrated Rail Plan, but I am hopeful we can secure a win for the people of Sherwood.”