The leaders of all the main political parties at Nottinghamshire County Council have joined forces to urge the Government not to delay electrification of the Midland Mainline for any longer than necessary.
The letter – to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin – follows the announcement in June that planned electrification of the line has been postponed.
The letter was signed by leaders of all four main political groups at County Hall and sets out their views about the importance of the Midland Mainline to Nottinghamshire’s economic prosperity.
It expresses disappointment at the announcement of the ‘pause’ to the scheme to electrify the line from London to Beeston and Nottingham and sets out views on what could be done during the pause.
It also calls for a firm date to be set for the resumption of the electrification works – even if that date is some time in the future – and asks for assurance that no approval is given for electrification of any additional routes before works have started on the Midland Mainline.
In the meantime, the county council is calling for other much-needed, but less costly, improvements to be made to the line.
“As a region we are already receiving less investment than other mainlines so we were naturally very disappointed when we heard in June that electrification on the Midland Mainline was being postponed,” said Coun Alan Rhodes, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council.
“As the electrification is being delayed it becomes even more important that other works on the track and signalling on the line at Market Harborough/Great Bowden, Leicester, Derby and the other smaller locations, are all carried out by 2019, and sooner if possible.
“These works will increase the speed limits that currently constrain trains, and so will reduce journey times for all passengers and improve our connectivity to London.
“They are also much simpler and cheaper to implement than full electrification and are the least that should be done.”