MP urges Ashfield council to reopen long-closed station to improve connectivity for residents
Another MP has got involved in the ongoing plan to reopen a disused Ashfield railway line which was closed to the public almost 60 years ago in a controversial policy of cuts.
The Maid Marian Line was closed to passengers as part of the Beeching Cuts in the 1960s – leaving the Selston area without rail links to Nottingham and elsewhere in the region.
If it goes ahead, the line would run from Kirkby through Selston and onto Langley Mill where connecting services would take passengers to Nottingham.
The line, which is currently only used for freight, would then travel on through Ilkeston and connect with the planned HS2 hub in Toton – with high-speed connecting services to London and the north of England.
Now Bolsover MP Mark Fletcher – who represents Pinxton, just two miles from Selston but over the Derbyshire border – has written to Ashfield District Council, urging the authority to reopen the former Selston and Pinxton Station, saying the village has also suffered as a result of the cuts.
Mr Fletcher, who won the Bolsover seat from Labour stalwart Dennis Skinner in 2019, said the plan is also key to bringing business back into the area – and is also campaigning to get the Robin Hood Line extended to provide better connectivity to Shirebrook.
He said: “These plans have the potential to make a really positive difference to Pinxton and residents that live in the town. I know that there have been discussions about re-opening the line for a while and so I want to do all that I can to make sure the line is reopened.
“It fits into the wider work we’re trying to do throughout the Bolsover constituency improving infrastructure and rail links throughout the wider region. I’m also determined to work with colleagues towards getting the Robin Hood Line extended to provide better links to Shirebrook.
“Levelling up the Bolsover constituency will be dependent on making sure that we improve our transport and infrastructure links to encourage businesses to come and set up and invest in our region.”
In December, Ashfield District Council was awarded £50,000 by the Government to help reopen the line – a move that is also supported by Ashfield MP Lee Anderson.
Commenting on Mr Fletcher's letter, Councillor David Martin, who represents Underwood and is portfolio holder for street, parks and town centres, said: “I am really pleased that Ashfield District Council has been successful in securing up to £50,000 funding for the next stage of the government’s Restoring your Railway Ideas Fund, which supports projects looking to reinstate axed local rail services and restore closed stations.
“We have been working towards this for the past five years and the benefit to the area will be significant.
“The connectivity it will bring will boost investment opportunities within the district, bring jobs and make travelling across the area, including in our rural communities, faster and easier.
“The plans would see a station in Selston, as well as King’s Mill Hospital and links to HS2. It forms part of the West Kirkby Gateway which will see an integrated transport hub at Kirkby station.
“The first stage of the project will look at the reopening of the line itself, with an assessment of the feasibility of restoring stations to follow.”