Leicestershire County Council supports high-speed rail station in Derby
A CAMPAIGN to have a High Speed Two railway station in Derby would be supported by Leicestershire County Council, it was confirmed yesterday.
The Government has revealed details of the next phase of its £32 billion HS2 project, which will see it extended from Birmingham to Leeds, serving the East Midlands.
The route for the 225mph trains runs between Derby and Nottingham, with a station planned for Toton Sidings.
But Councillor Paul Bayliss, leader of the Labour-controlled city council, wants the East Midlands station in Derby instead.
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He has said that a Derby HS2 station would deliver £440 million of benefits and up to 12,000 jobs, while the Toton figures would be £330 million and 600.
At a meeting of the Leicestershire council yesterday, councillors agreed a policy that the proposed route was in the wrong place and the East Midlands station should be in Derby.
They feared that the track's route could put an end to plans for a new rail freight terminal next to East Midlands Airport, removing the chance to create new jobs and for investment in nearby roads, including the Kegworth bypass. And they agreed the route might create "a blight over a long period of time on any other potential developments along the published line of route".
The leader of the Tory-led council, Councillor Nick Rushton, said: "I believe that a parkway station at Toton is the wrong option for the East Midlands. A city centre station in Derby would offer far greater regeneration benefits and good connections for Leicestershire."
A report released by the Department for Transport has said that Derby was the second-choice option for an HS2 station. But it decided against the city site because it would be "less able to serve the wider East Midlands region". Mr Bayliss said the city council was now waiting to see what the alternative route for HS2 was.
He said: "We are pulling together the information we need at the moment. If we get to the point where we are running a campaign, which I hope and believe we will, we will be able to divide up the work between ourselves and the county council.
"We would be able to share expertise and cost."
Leicester was dismissed for an HS2 station because it would have resulted in a longer, more expensive route.
Nottingham was ruled out because of cost, disruption and "sustainability" concerns.