Light at the end of tunnel for station

NILABE120419a7, Ilkeston train petition handed to 10 Downing Street. Editor Peter Hemmett and Erewash MP Jessica Lee.
NILABE120419a7, Ilkeston train petition handed to 10 Downing Street. Editor Peter Hemmett and Erewash MP Jessica Lee.

The campaign to re-open a train station in Ilkeston took a huge leap forward this week amid the decision to electrify the Midland Mainline.

Erewash MP Jessica Lee said the ‘final pieces of the jigsaw were falling into place’ as Ilkeston now has a good chance of securing the final £3m needed.

It was revealed this weekend that as part of the Government’s plans to spend £9bn on rail improvements, including on the line from Sheffield to London – which passes through Ilkeston – £20m has been put aside specifically for opening or re-opening stations on the line.

During the debate about the funding in the House of Commons on Monday, Miss Lee asked Transport Secretary Justine Greening whether she hoped Ilkeston station would now be re-opened.

Ms Greening said: “I very much hope that her Ilkeston station plan will go forward to the competition bid, and I will look with real interest to see it come through.”

She said that her meeting with Miss Lee and Derbyshire county councillors earlier this year ‘had brought home’ to her that money needed to be set aside for new stations.

But she said ultimately whether Ilkeston station is re-opened will be a decision for Network Rail.

Afterwards, Miss Lee said she was ‘delighted’ that there was a fund specifically for new stations and said Ms Greening’s comments were ‘encouraging’.

“It appears that the pieces of the jigsaw to fund the station are falling into place, but we are not quite there yet,” she said.