Center Parcs backs railway extension campaign

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One of Nottinghamshire’s largest employers has thrown its weight behind a campaign to extend the Robin Hood Line from Mansfield to Edwinstone and Ollerton.

Center Parcs whose holiday village Sherwood Forest and Head Office are based in the area, have backed calls for the extension which have been been revived by local campaigns.

Martin Dalby, CEO of Center Parcs said: “Center Parcs employs over 1750 people in this part of Nottinghamshire and we welcome over 400 000 guests each year, so of course we would welcome any improvement to the public transport links.

“We think that the extension of the Robin Hood line would represent a fantastic investment for the Government, and for the local area and would give a huge boost to the local economy. We are delighted that Mark has taken the bid for funding for this project to national government and has our full support in his campaign”.

Center Parcs Head Office is based on the Ollerton Energy Village, which has been touted as a potential site for a station along the Robin Hood Line. It’s Sherwood Forest holiday park would also benefit from the project, creating jobs in the local area.

MP for Sherwood Mark Spencer said ‘‘I’m delighted that local employers like Center Parcs are backing us in our campaign to make this project happen. It’s really important for local people to have that public transport link, and it will make it easier for people to travel for work as well as boost local tourism.

“I have asked the Chancellor personally to consider the proposals and find some money to support us.”

Under the plans, which are being backed by business leaders, existing freight railway lines which already connect the Dukeries area with Mansfield and Nottingham would be upgraded to take passengers.

The demand follows similar calls from local politicians who say the move would also boost tourism in north.

Mark Spencer MP will ask a question of the Chancellor during a treasury meeting in the House on Wednesday, regarding the funding for the Robin Hood Line Plans

The line was closed to passenger services in September 1955, though summer holiday excursions to and from the East Coast continued to call until September 1964.

The lines were still used to transport coal from Welbeck Colliery up until its closure in 2010.