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A £2.7bn transport plan to provide frequent connections to the HS2 East Midlands Hub station at Toton has been published

The newly published transport plan aims to spearhead the region’s economic renewal post Covid-19 and boost the benefits of HS2.

The plan – published by a group of councils, transport bodies and East Midlands Airport – includes new and improved rail, bus and tram networks and enhanced road infrastructure.

As part of the proposals, over 20 villages, towns and cities across the East Midlands will have direct access to the HS2 station, including Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, Newark, Matlock, Mansfield and Long Eaton.

The transport plan is split into three phases; the first earmarked for completion by 2030, to stimulate development before HS2 trains first arrive in the East Midlands.

The three phases include:

Phase one of the proposals, which could be implemented and operational within the next ten years, includes plans for:

  • An extension of the Nottingham Express Transit system from Long Eaton to Toton Lane via two new stops at the planned Innovation Campus Development and HS2 East Midlands Hub;
  • New bus services from the HS2 East Midlands Hub to Amber Valley, West Bridgford and Clifton;
  • Four rail services per hour to the HS2 East Midlands Hub from Leicester, Derby and Nottingham;
  • Enhanced road access to the HS2 East Midlands Hub via improvements to the A6005; and
  • New rail services between Mansfield, Derby and Leicester, with stops at Ilkeston, Langley Mill, Kirkby in Ashfield, Sutton Parkway and the HS2 East Midlands Hub, made possible by reopening the Maid Marian line to passenger services.

Phase Two of the scheme, which could be up and running within 20 years, includes:

  • A new railway station at East Midlands Airport and connections from the East Midlands Hub to Derby by tram or Bus Rapid Transit. The new station at East Midlands Airport would allow a direct journey to Leicester in 15 minutes, to Derby in 18 minutes, and to Nottingham in 26 minutes, vastly improving sustainable transport access for passengers and staff.

Phase Three, which would be completed within 25 years, includes:

  • New rail links to the South Derby Growth Zone and Rolls Royce site, as well as a tram-train serving Long Eaton, a planned housing development to the west of East Midlands Airport, Ratcliffe-on-Soar-Power Station and the East Midlands Gateway logistics site.

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‘Integrated transport strategy’

Sir John Peace, chairman of Midlands Connect and Midlands Engine, said: “The arrival of High Speed Two is a watershed moment for our region, and an opportunity that we must grasp with both hands.

“As we work towards an economic renewal post-Covid-19, the East Midlands must step forward and work together to secure the transport network, economic future and social mobility it deserves.

“This truly integrated transport strategy isn’t just about connecting more people to the HS2 station; it will also support the building of new homes, accelerate transformational regeneration and link some of our most deprived communities to nationally-important assets across the East Midlands.

“It means spreading the benefits of high speed rail to businesses and workers across the region, from our great cities of Derby, Leicester and Nottingham, to bustling towns like Mansfield and Loughborough and smaller communities that may otherwise feel HS2 won’t benefit them.

“Our message to Westminster is clear; support us in making this vision a reality.”

Councillor Kay Cutts MBE, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and chair of the HS2 East Midlands Growth Board, commented: “The arrival of High Speed Two in Nottinghamshire will bring with it widespread regeneration, development and highly-skilled jobs.

“This comprehensive plan ensures that communities in our towns and villages can access these opportunities, and that the benefits of this investment are spread far and wide.

“This isn’t just a transport project, it’s about securing a successful future for our people, promoting prosperity and social mobility for generations to come. We need to work alongside Government to ensure that the East Midlands sees benefits as soon as possible.”

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