Midlands Connect are pleased with the Government’s publication of the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) and the funding it will provide for rail infrastructure in the Midlands.
Around £10bn worth of investment has been secured by Midlands Connect as the IRP contains the majority of Midlands Connects key priorities.
As part of the IRP the village of Toton will get a traditional train station with a 50:50 public private funding requirement.
In the East Midlands HS2 trains will stop at Derby, Nottingham and East Midlands Parkway.
Meanwhile in the West Midlands HS2 trains will go from Crewe up to Manchester.
Sir John Peace, Chair of Midlands connect spoke on the plans for HS2 in the Midlands.
Sir Peace said: “Today’s announcement gives businesses and local leaders the reassurance they’ve been waiting for – that HS2 is coming to the East Midlands.
“Although these plans are different in some respects to what we’d expected, there are a lot of positives in here.
“Now that we have certainty, we must focus our efforts on delivery.
“Our challenge to Government is simple, it should move as quickly as possible to get spades in the ground and bring benefits to local people sooner.”
Commenting on the plans for a new station in Toton Sir Peace added: “These proposals mean that delivery of a new train station for Toton can start today.
“I believe this provides much needed certainty to investors and will help kick-start the ambitious regeneration proposals in the area.
“The plans around Toton, the adjacent freeport and the wider Development Corporation could create 84,000 jobs and add billions in value to the regional economy.”
Sir Peace also believes the HS2 link from Crewe to Manchester will provide a key north-south link.
These plans will bring much needed added capacity to the West Midlands.
Sir Peace said: “Now we have the green light, it’s essential that we maintain momentum.
“Getting a clear timetable for the delivery of this part of the project and bringing forward the necessary legislation in Parliament to make it happen.
“This will mean that we can release capacity at stations like Stafford and Stoke.
“This means the benefits of HS2 will be felt by hundreds of thousands of people across The Potteries and Staffordshire.”
Sir Peace however means the most welcome news from the IRP is that the East Coast Mainline at Newark has received Government backing.
By fixing the level crossing at Newark trains between Nottingham and Lincoln will no longer have to wait for East Coast Main Line services to pass.
This will solve a long-standing capacity issue in the area.
Speaking on this Sir Peace said: “The flat crossing at Newark is a huge bottleneck that limits our ability to improve rail services for local people.
“Upgrading this junction… will allow us to better connect Nottingham, Lincoln and other regional hubs.”