It might seem a bit far fetched at the moment but Kirkby’s lowly train station could become Ashfield’s gateway to the world.
Proposals to link Kirkby and London in around an hour could become a reality if the Maid Marion line gets the go ahead.
Council bosses have been talking up plans to link Kirkby station with Toton which is planned to be on the HS2 high speed rail line, with trains speeding to London, major UK cities and Europe.
And the good news is there should be minimum disruption as an existing route already used for freight would provide the track.
Nottinghamshire County Council have announced the proposals which would cut the current two-and-a half hour journey to London by at least half.
We asked some Kirkby residents about their hopes and fears if the plans get the green light.
For Helen Bodey 49, the faster link was positive for the area but for her son who lived on the HS2 route itself it was a different matter.
Mrs Bodey said: “My son lives in Long Eaton and his house is under threat. He can’t really afford to move into another house unless they give him a good price on it.
“There’s going to be a meeting with his MP because people want to know what is happening and they haven’t made a decision yet if that’s going to be the new station. There are going to be a lot of people losing their homes.
“It’s good if you commute and if you want to go to London but if you are just a day-tripper to London it’s still expensive- if you just want to go down for a day, especially for a family.
“It’s cheaper to drive down and leave your car at the Tube.
“It would be good for people who live here and it might bring a bit of trade - but Kirkby could do with some better shops as well.
“If it brings more people into Kirkby things might start opening up and we might get more variety. Kirkby seems to keep getting missed off but I really like living here and the people are lovely.
“I would use it if it was a reasonable price - I have a brother who lives in London and it would be nice to go down in the week and have an overnight stay.”
“If it is built on existing lines it isn’t going to be an issue for people’s houses here.
“But if it means work doing which will disrupt traffic and it affects people going to work, they will start to moan about it. Driving to work through Kirkby can be a nightmare”
Anette Plune, 52 said she wouldn’t be taking advantage of the new line but supported it in principle.
She said: “I suppose its a good thing but it depends what they are going to knock down and destroy.
“It’s good so long as they are not knocking everything down around it.
“I wouldn’t want it at the bottom of my garden.
“But saying that my mum and dad have a train line at the bottom of their garden and they don’t hear it.”
Katie Mead, 26 said:
“It is a good idea if it gets you to London quicker - I used to live in London when I was younger . My friends live in Watford and when they do come up it takes them about five hours.
“It would bring my family up to see me if it only took them an hour, instead of me having to travel down there.”
David Ellis, 56 of Kirkby said he rarely goes to London - usually for work and usually drives to Long Eaton where he catches a train.
He said: “It would be an advantage to the area if people can get down to London or other places like that quicker, more people are more likely to be able to get jobs. Of course it depends how much it costs.
“They say that every 10 minutes out of London is £3,000 less on your house . The rise of suburbia and greater London was all because of rail links out of London.”
Sue Pattison 61 from Kirkby said: “I wouldn’t use it “I have osteo-arthritis which means I’m a bit wary about going out on public transport on my own. My husband usually gives me a lift.
But I suppose for some people it’s got to be a good thing. So long as they don’t knock my house down.
“At least the lines are being re-used. You might as well recycle something useful.
“You would hope it would bring more custom and tourists to the area.
“I know we haven’t got a great deal here at the moment but perhaps it would encourage businesses to open up.”
Chantelle Jury 32 said she currently drives down to London, which can take her three hours
She added: “I would use it if it was there.
At the moment its a lot of messing around when family comes up from down there having to catch a couple of trains, swapping over and then a bus.”
Glen Baird, 49 said: “Anything that would get things in better shape and moving quicker has got to be a good thing. We do go to London for the connection to Europe and so on. It will be great for anybody commuting to and from London with these times It will keep the economical benefit in small towns like Kirkby.”