Boost for Rutland rail campaigners

  Posted: 01.12.20 at 17:10 by The Editor

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Rail campaigners in Rutland has won a cash boost to help their fight for better rail services in the county.

Rutland County Council’ has agreed to provisionally contribute £4,000 in principle for a feasibility study for improved rail services in Rutland.

The Welland Valley Rail Project would better connect Rutlanders with Kettering, Corby, Stamford, and Peterborough if found to be feasible and in the best interests of Rutland.

No decisions have been made yet, and the £4,000 provisional contribution from Rutland County Council will only be spent if central government agrees to fund 75 per cent of the feasibility study through the Reversing Beeching New Ideas Fund. This Government fund is designed to redevelop rail services that were cancelled in the past.

The move follows Rutland MP Alicia Kearns gauging public opinion on re-opening a short stretch of railway line in the county, as previously reported by Nub News.

Mrs Kearns, said: “I am delighted that our County Council is backing this feasibility study with a provisional £4,000. Together we are committed to delivering improved transport options for Rutlanders.

“Too often, we are forgotten, and we don’t receive the level of transport investment that we need, and that’s why I’ve been working with colleagues to investigate whether a new rail line is right for Rutland.

“It is absolutely right that we undertake a feasibility study to assess whether there is a viable route, and where an additional station would best be located in Rutland. No decisions have been made, but we must investigate this possibility.

“In my 2019 election campaign, I committed to improving transport options for Rutland, and I am working every day to achieve that promise. From investigating this potential rail option, to creating a working group of MPs to improve the A1.”

Alicia Kearns has been consulting constituents even at this early stage on their support for an additional train station in Rutland, the survey can be found here. Currently over two thirds of responses are supportive of re-opening Luffenham train station or a new line and station. Once the feasibility study is complete, she will consult again with residents.

This announcement comes after Alicia Kearns’ successful bid to get £50,000 for Melton Borough Council to develop a business case for improved services between Melton and Nottingham as part of the Beeching Review.

A decision on this application will likely be made within six months, and funding is dependent on a successful bid. All potential routes and locations for a station and associated infrastructure will be investigated, not just the former route and location.

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