Tory Philip Hickson blasts city council's campaign to bring HS2 station to Derby as 'absurd'
A CAMPAIGN to have a high-speed rail station in Derby will continue – despite Tory opposition claims that the idea is "absurd".
The Government has confirmed details of the next phase of its £32 billion High Speed Two 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, after the route was announced, city council leader Paul Bayliss said the authority would fight to have the station in Derby.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He said the council was prepared to spend tens of millions of pounds to make this possible.
At Wednesday night's full council meeting, Mr Bayliss reiterated his point, calling for a "Bombardier-type approach" to support the campaign.
There was a massive public campaign calling on ministers to back British train manufacturing, after Derby train-maker Bombardier lost a £1.4 billion contract to German firm Siemens.
He said the new campaign would also push for Derby's rail companies to play a major part in "building the rolling stock or supplying the signalling and support infrastructure".
Tory opposition leader Councillor Philip Hickson said the Derby station idea was "absurd".
He said: "The line would come in through same of the city's better housing in places like Shelton Lock and Chellaston.
"Mr Bayliss isn't saying how this would affect local residents."
Mr Bayliss said his thinking was based on a detailed study made of the economic benefits HS2 could bring to the East Midlands.
He claimed this showed the biggest impact in terms of "job and wealth creation" would be made by a Derby station.
He said this had looked at a track going along the "existing rail track bed" to Derby station.
Mr Bayliss conceded: "There would be a requirement to knock down some buildings, including part of the new college building at the Roundhouse, and you might have to demolish some houses.
"The Toton station involves the path of least resistance but, for us, it's also the path of least economic benefit.
"If you really want to establish Derby as a potential regional capital, having a high-speed rail station is a big tick in that box."
At the meeting, Mr Bayliss said the study showed 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.
He said the details of the campaign had not yet been decided but that everyone in the city would be invited to take part.
Meanwhile, business leaders and rail industry figures are calling for a link between Derby and Toton.
John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, a public/private sector organisation which attracts investment to the city, previously said he expected Nottingham to push for its existing tram network to be extended to Toton – and would like to see this link extended to Derby.