Amanda Hack welcomes progress but calls for long-term commitment to restoring Coalville to Leicester rail link

Labour’s leader in Leicestershire, Cllr Amanda Hack, has welcomed the latest proposals for partially reopening the Ivanhoe line. However, Cllr Hack expressed concern at the exclusion of the link between Coalville and Leicester.

After completing a preliminary study by Network Rail, the project will now concentrate on connecting Coalville, Ashby, Swadlincote and onward to Burton-on-Trent. Additionally, the project aims to extend the service north to Derby to provide direct connectivity to job and education opportunities. The Network Rail study claims the benefits of connecting Coalville to Leicester are insufficient to justify the track work costs.

Speaking at a meeting of Leicestershire County Council this week, Cllr Amanda Hack said:

“The reopening of the Ivanhoe line in full must be the long-term strategic objective for Leicestershire and therefore supported by this Council.  The decision to progress the section from Burton to Coalville only at this stage is a positive development, and I want this to be delivered. Still, this work must form part of a longer-term, integrated project to complete the rail link between Burton and Leicester.

During the pandemic, I joined virtual meetings with the Campaign for the Reopening of the Ivanhoe Line (CRIL) and other interested parties. I want to thank CRIL for mobilising campaigners and partners, including several local councils, to support the Ivanhoe Line cause. Thanks to their hard work, we are now proceeding to an Outline Business Case.  Labour welcomes this development.

Completing the Ivanhoe Line will have long-term benefits for Leicestershire, including in my division, which is close to the line that runs alongside the Meynell’s Gorse Park and Ride – opening opportunities for businesses, commuters and those who want to travel for leisure.

Supporting the completion of the Ivanhoe line in full must be the objective as this will help mitigate the impact of new homes and business developments planned along this corridor.”

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Hack said:

“I want a long-term commitment to completing the rail link between Leicester and Coalville. This is essential to securing prosperity in North West Leicestershire. Regrettably, we all know that the government has form when it comes to leaving county residents with a job half done. Despite assurances, they have failed to complete the electrification of the Midland Mainline.

Investors need to be confident that strategic transport goals will be realised. Without that confidence, growth, jobs and productivity in the county will be hampered.”

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