General Election 'is likely to delay' Ivanhoe Line plans say campaigners for railway route

By Graham Hill

24th May 2024 | Local News

The former railway station in Ashby on the currently disused Ivanhoe Line. Photo: Ashby Nub News
The former railway station in Ashby on the currently disused Ivanhoe Line. Photo: Ashby Nub News

This summer's General Election will delay progress on the re-opening of the Ivanhoe Line, according to campaigners for the planned rail route between Coalville and Derby.

Last September, Network Rail said the most cost-effective way to get passenger trains back on the line was to delay the route linking Coalville and Leicester until phase two of the development.

The line would still open at Coalville, with a new station planned towards the centre of the town.

But the route would only take passengers in the northwesterly direction, to Ashby, Moira, Castle Gresley and Burton, before joining the existing track to Derby.

The cost of the new track needed to provide a link to Leicester is considered too expensive for now.

However, as part of the Restoring Your Railway Programme, work on the Ivanhoe Line must start before the next General Election.

But any physical work has yet to begin, with the election just six weeks away.

However, the Campaign for the Re-opening of the Ivanhoe Line (CRIL) has taken to social media to give an update as to when the project might get underway.

A message reads: "CRIL is not a political group, so we do not want any discussion about the pros and cons of any party or candidate.

"However, we feel it is appropriate to keep you posted on the impact that the election process has on our work.

"When an election is called, Government enters into 'Purdah' which means no decisions or announcements, such as those about the Ivanhoe Line, can be made.

"Also, in practical terms no doubt any incoming government will want to review ongoing schemes before making any new announcements.

"So the election is likely to delay any decisions about the re-opening to Coalville, and the further development of a scheme for the reopening to Leicester South."

Photo: CRIL

But CRIL says that work behind the scenes is progressing.

It adds: "On a brighter note, we are aware that significant preparatory work on the case for the final decision to build is already being carried out.

"So although the election will slow things down a bit, it's not as bad as it could have been.

"In the meantime, we are considering how our supporters could help us get pledges from the various candidates to support the re-opening of our line. Stay tuned."

Both the Conservative and Labour candidates for North West Leicestershire - Craig Smith and Amanda Hack - have pledged to support the Ivanhoe Line re-opening if elected in July.

     

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