Government's £500m Fund Gets Mixed Reaction From Ashby Railway Line Campaigners

By Graham Hill

28th Jan 2020 | Local News

  • Government launching new fund for re-establishing disused railway lines
  • Ivanhoe Line hoping for a slice of the money available
  • Campaigners still believe the amount promised is not enough
  • CRIL say it has one of the strongest cases for re-opening the line

The Campaign To Reopen The Ivanhoe Line in Ashby says it will be approaching the Government for a share of the £500million fund to restore track closed more than 50 years ago by the Beeching Cuts.

The Government kitty was promised in the Tory election manifesto in November and is being launched on Tuesday.

But while the CRIL has cautiously welcomed the announcement, it adds that the sums mentioned are not enough.

CRIL is currently preparing a feasibility study to assess the merits of re-opening the line between Burton on Trent and Leicester which was closed in the 1960s.

The group proposes new stations along the line at Ashby, Moira, Castle Gresley, Coalville and Ellistown.

But CRIL spokesman Geoff Bushell told Ashby Nub News there are mixed feelings about the Government plans.

"Although any funding towards the re-opening of lines is welcomed, the sums mentioned are barely sufficient to cover the cost of conducting the feasibility studies and production of business cases necessary in each case," said Mr Bushell.Railway costs have accelerated and if the Government is serious about this venture they will need to do something to reduce them for lines like the Ivanhoe line and to streamline the tortuous process of re-opening.

"That said, we will be approaching the powers that be to ensure that we get our share, at this stage we need to understand that process.

"We think we have one of the strongest cases among the 'Beeching' lines and hope that the East Midlands does not get overlooked in the Governments' quest to satisfy the 'North'."

Labour has called the plan "meaningless", adding that £500m would reopen just 25 miles of railway.

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