Hopes as station fund is launched

NILABE120419a4, Ilkeston train petition handed to 10 Downing Street. Editor Peter Hemmett and Erewash MP Jessica Lee.
NILABE120419a4, Ilkeston train petition handed to 10 Downing Street. Editor Peter Hemmett and Erewash MP Jessica Lee.

Hopes have never been as high for a train station in Ilkeston, after a £20m fund for new stations has been launched.

The town will find out whether a station will be built by the end of March, according to a statement from the Government.

Unveiling the scheme yesterday (Thursday), Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that plans for proposed new stations ‘must be at an advanced stage’.

He added that bidders must have a portion of funding already allocated and the bid must have the support of the local authority, train operating firms and Network Rail.

Ilkeston’s plan has the support of those bodies and Derbyshire County Council has already put £1m of the £5m needed aside for a station in the town.

Erewash MP Jessica Lee who has campaigned alongside the ‘Tiser for the new station said that she would work hard with the council to meet the February deadline for bids.

A recommendation from the Department for Transport panel will be made before the end of March.

Mr Mcloughlin, who is Derbyshire Dales MP, added: “We recognise that local communities are often best placed to deliver their own transport solutions and I would therefore encourage anyone with a credible and worthwhile business plan to apply for this vital extra funding.”

More on this story in next week’s Advertiser, out Thursday January 31.