Uncertainty over Ivanhoe Line funding continues

Labour’s leader in Leicestershire, Cllr Amanda Hack, has responded to the government’s latest transport announcement:

Last October, the government unveiled its ‘new’ Local Transport Fund with a flurry of ministerial announcements and press releases. We were told that nearly £10 billion had been allocated to transport schemes in the Midlands, with specific mention of reopening the Ivanhoe Line. Labour welcomed this decision while raising concerns that there was no clear commitment to restoring the passenger rail link between Coalville and Leicester.

Five months on, the hard truth is that no progress has been made on delivering a single mile of railway track anywhere in North West Leicestershire. Things are no better elsewhere on the transport front; progress on the A511 Ashby-Coalville upgrade, which was first announced in 2019, remains stalled. Last month, we learned that construction will not start until 2025 at the earliest.

Yesterday, the prime minister made the same announcement all over again. Admittedly, he added a few details about local decision-making. Yet, there is no real cash on the table, just a vague suggestion that funding for Leicestershire might appear in 2025, subject to a series of unknown conditions. The cash earmarked for Leicestershire is quoted at just £238 million – a fraction of the figure announced in October 2024.

After 14 years of Conservative failure, nationally and locally, Leicestershire’s finances are in crisis. Furthermore, given the continued absence of a coherent plan for the infrastructure the county so urgently needs, it’s clear that Labour’s political opponents have neither the vision, the competence, or the willingness to deliver positive change.

Under the Conservatives, nothing works. Rehashed press releases and PR stunts are no substitute for action.

If I am elected as the new MP for North West Leicestershire, the Ivanhoe line will be at the top of my in-tray from day one. I will work with all parties to get the line reopened and restore the passenger link between Leicester and Coalville – this goes beyond politics.”

North West Leicestershire District Council Labour Leader, Cllr Sean Sheahan, agrees:

“This latest announcement about the creation of a Local Transport Fund has muddied the waters on the Government’s previous commitment to the Ivanhoe Line. It’s important that political leaders in Leicestershire rally round the Ivanhoe Line, and I fully support Amanda Hack in her stance.”

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