NOTTINGHAMSHIRE County Council has welcomed the announcement by the Department for Transport on the proposed eastern section of the planned HS2 railway line.
It comes a year after the Government confirmed its commitment to building a high speed rail network in a Y-shape comprising a first-stage line from London to Birmingham followed by a second stage with an eastern arm to the East Midlands, South Yorkshire and Leeds and a western arm heading off to Manchester.
Under the latest plans, the line will split at Water Orton, east of Birmingham, with the eastern branch heading towards Nottingham and Derby, going under East Midlands Airport and swinging north past East Midlands Parkway and Trent junction to a new East Midlands station at Toton Sidings.
North of Toton the line is expected to broadly follow the M1 northwards.
The western branch will run via Crewe and on to Manchester.
“We have been lobbying for this for three years,” said Coun Richard Jackson, chairman of the County Council’s transport and highways committee.
“This is good news for the economy of Nottinghamshire and the region as a whole.
“Improving the transport infrastructure is critical for unlocking the full potential of business in our county.
“Train travel is the main mode of transport for business travel to and from the capital and most international flights arrive and depart from the London airports.
“This latest news, combined with the dualling of the A453 and the much-needed improvements to the Midland Main Line will give Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands region as a whole an environment where businesses can flourish – and that’s good news for all our residents.”
The Government says that extending the high speed line will give local commuters a journey time from Toton to London of 51 minutes, with a journey to Leeds taking 29 minutes
Adding on 17 minutes for a connecting rail service running form Nottingham station to Toton would give a Nottingham to London journey time of 68 minutes – a time saving of 36 minutes to the existing time and 22 minutes on what the time should be in a few years time after the Midland Main Line upgrade is completed.