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Council is working tirelessly on station
I read with interest Jessica Lee’s column in last week’s paper, in which she made some fairly derogatory comments about the work we have been doing to get a train station for Ilkeston.
I will take no lectures from Ms Lee on this matter.
As a train driver for over 23 years I know and understand the railway industry. 
The county council has been working tirelessly for many years to bring a train station to Ilkeston.
Gradually we found support from the railway industry, train operators and finally the Government managed to find some money to add to the £1m sum we have put aside to build it.
Of course, we knew all about the newts found when we built Millership Way. 
This was why we commissioned a full environmental report from independent specialists.
These specialists told us that the site of the new station was not a suitable habitat for the species and there was only a very low risk that they would be found.
But just to make sure we carried out some checks of the site in April, and this was when one great crested newt was found.
There is no point looking for newts a year before you start on site – you need to look just before you are about to start on site. 
But the newt is only part of the story of the delay. We have been asked to put in further measures to prevent the very small risk of flooding to the car park. This we were only aware of when we were given planning permission in March.
Finding an engineering solution to this issue has taken us time – and we need to find the money to do these extra works. This has added to the delay far more than the newt.
Building a station is a complex civil engineering project and we’ve needed to work with many organisations.
We’ve had a number of set-backs which were beyond our control. We understand that the delay is frustrating for local people. It’s frustrating for us.
But more frustrating for me is that one of our local MPs doesn’t take the time to ask us what’s happening before she criticises our work publicly.
Take it from the train driver rather than the MP, without the work being done by Derbyshire County Council there would be no possibility of a train station for Ilkeston. We’re doing all we can to resolve the difficulties this project faces and I’m confident we will succeed.
 

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