After leading a sustained campaign, Ben Bradley MP has welcomed the publication of the Government’s £96 billion Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands, which delivers on Ben’s key asks from Government and invests £12 billion into the East Midlands.
Mr Bradley has taken a leading role in ensuring Mansfield is at the heart of the plans and is delighted that the Robin Hood Line extension and new Maid Marian Line have been included. He also welcomed the news of a new hub at Toton, which will create thousands of new jobs and link Mansfield to these jobs through the Maid Marian Line.
These are issues that Mr Bradley has tirelessly campaigned on and he was described by the Secretary of State for Transport, the Rt. Hon Grant Shapps MP, as an “extraordinary advocate” during today’s Ministerial statement. The Transport Secretary also stated that “Nottinghamshire has been a big winner out of today, and his Mansfield constituents as well”.
The Integrated Rail Plan will deliver for the East Midlands by:
• Building HS2 East from the West Midlands to East Midlands Parkway – meaning direct HS2 services to Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield, and Sheffield.
• Fully electrifying the Midland Main Line, beginning work by the end of this year to electrify a new section of the line between Kettering and Market Harborough.
• Rapidly upgrading to the East Coast Main Line, benefiting the East Midlands, and bringing benefits to communities far sooner than originally planned.
• Supporting regeneration at Toton, by developing transport links, including options for a new station, subject to the private sector matching Government investment.
• London-style contactless ticketing across the Midlands, backed by £360 million across the country, to deliver fares, ticketing and retail reform, including the roll out of contactless pay-as-you-go ticketing.
For the Midlands this will mean:
• Direct high-speed services to Derby and Nottingham city centres – eliminating the need for passengers to change at Toton, meaning shorter journey times than under previous plans: London to Nottingham and Derby in under an hour, cutting current journey times by around a third.
• High-speed services stopping at East Midlands Parkway, supporting jobs and local regeneration.
• Faster, more environmentally friendly journeys for places such as Derby, and Nottingham.
Commenting, Ben Bradley MP said:
“I’m really happy with today’s outcome and welcome the brilliant announcements from the Integrated Rail Plan, which will directly benefit my constituents across Mansfield and Warsop.
“I’m over the moon that the station at Toton has been approved. This could be life-changing for my constituents who will be able to access well-paid jobs and, even better, have easy access to them thanks to the creation of the Maid Marian Line! I also know that my colleagues across Nottinghamshire will welcome confirmation of the Robin Hood Line extension, which we’ve been campaigning on for years.
“There’s an awful lot to celebrate after today as our region is receiving a £12 billion investment, which is absolutely massive! That is an unprecedented amount of money and shows that Government is listening to me when I’ve been urging Ministers to ensure the East Midlands is not left behind and remains key to levelling up the country.
“I’ve put a huge amount of time and energy in to meeting with Ministers and local leaders to ensure Mansfield is at the heart of plans. Of course, the work never stops and I’ll carry on doing everything I can to bring more jobs, more opportunities and more economic growth to our area.”