Doncaster Sheffield Airport seeks ECML rail terminal to boost capacity
Doncaster Sheffield Airport has announced its hopes to boost the Northern Powerhouse by opening a new train station, allowing the airport to relieve pressure from the south east.
The airport’s vision plan – ‘The Vision for Transformation Growth’, which will not be published until January – outlines plans for a re-alignment of the East Coast Main Line (ECML) to serve a new railway station at the airport, as the current ECML lies less than a mile away from the airport boundary.
It argued that the re-alignment of the line would enable travellers from London King’s Cross to arrive at the airport in 90 minutes, quicker than to Heathrow or Gatwick.
Airport chiefs are seeking government support for the measures, which they say will ease congestion on cross-London rail routes as aviation demand increases, and also deliver improved connectivity to the Northern Powerhouse area.
Steve Gill, chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said of the proposal: “The proposal is a symbol of the north’s ambition and determination to deliver economic growth. In order to unlock this potential we are calling for the support of policy makers and government to make this idea a reality.
“This particular project will deliver growth not only in the Northern Powerhouse but up and down the country.”
Doncaster Sheffield, owned by Peel Group, said that it could cost between £100m and £150m to see the project to fruition and expressed its hopes to develop the scheme in partnership with the public sector.
The airport has urged Whitehall to recognise the role it can play in boosting the UK’s aviation capacity and has suggested its inclusion in the government’s National Infrastructure Delivery Plan, currently set to 2020-21.
Gill argued that the airport’s aim is “to respond to future travel demands by providing a global reach for leisure, business and freight customers”.
The airport’s report added that government support for its proposals would demonstrate “a strategic and better balanced approach to the provision of future air capacity” in the long term.
The news of further transport expansion in Yorkshire follows last week’s revelation of Leeds City Council’s ambitious £270m transport plan, which has proposed three new railway stations in the region including a new station serving Leeds Bradford Airport. The money for the proposed stations will be re-invested from the council’s former plans to build a new trolleybus system, a scheme which was later abandoned.
The former transport Patrick McLoughlin denied the West Yorkshire Combined Authority permission to pursue the scheme back in May, saying that the scheme did not offer value for money and would cause too much environmental disruption.
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