Nottingham City Council is calling on the Government not to delay the decision on the electrification of the Midland Mainline.
Speaking at the end of a two-hour train journey from the UK’s capital to Nottingham Station today (Friday 26th June 2015), Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs, Growth and Transport, said: “It is disappointing that the Government has made the announcement to delay the decision to electrify the Midland Mainline. It took me two hours to get back from London today, it needn’t take that long. Many business travellers find the current journey time too long and this prohibits them from being able to conduct their business as effectively and efficiently as they might do. Fast and reliable train connections are vital for growth, and the electrification of the Midland Mainline just as important to the city as the HS2 development.
“The economic benefits that electrifying the line would make to this city and its business community are unarguable and clear, and although we are frustrated by the announcement, our message to Government now is don’t delay the decision to electrify the line for too long, work with us, listen to us and make these necessary improvements.
“The Government is keen to rebalance the national economy and electrifying the Midland Mainline will be one of the key drivers to creating jobs, growth and business opportunities both in Nottingham and the wider East Midlands region.
The Midland Mainline is the vital rail artery that connects Nottingham via Leicester to London, with East Midlands Trains currently operating two trains per hour. Nottingham trains are significantly slower than Derby/Sheffield trains, with the faster hourly trains typically taking around 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours. The Midland Mainline overall has the slowest average speed of all the main lines which puts the East Midlands at an economic disadvantage compared to other areas.
Midland Mainline electrification would provide businesses with reduced journey times of approximately 90 minutes from London to help them to maximise their potential and compete with the best in Europe and beyond. Productivity will be improved through reducing business travel time, increasing the numbers of visitors and tourists, better connections to Eurostar services at St Pancras International and helping to attract more businesses to locate and invest here.
It would create hundreds of jobs during construction and increase access to the Government’s proposed HS2 network.