Published at 20:51 on Sunday 21st April 2019
Tags: Ollerton, Robin Hood Line, Network Rail

On 22nd February 1992 Class 47/4 No. 47810 is seen at Ollerton during the 'Meden-Maun' railtour. Public services could return to the former route into High Marnham Colliery under proposals to extend the Robin Hood line service. Steven Hatch

A local MP has raised hopes that passenger services on the Robin Hood Line could be extended to serve a wider area.

Mark Spencer, the Conservative MP for the Sherwood constituency, told a business breakfast that there was a realistic possibility of the route, which currently links Nottingham and Worksop, via Mansfield, being extended in the coming years. There have long been ambitions for the line to serve the Sherwood Forest area.

Mr Spencer said that providing transport services for the Sherwood area was key, and indicated that the former railway from Shirebrook that previously served High Marnham Power Station and is now used as the Rail Innovation and Development Centre for Network Rail, could be used, with new stations at Edwinstone and Ollerton. During his speech, Mr Spencer commented that as a child growing up, there were 12 pits in the area, today there are none. He added: “If you compare to the town of Hucknall and the village of Calverton, they are very similar to Ollerton and Clipstone, but the fundamental difference is the infrastructure. Today, you can get on the tram at Hucknall and go into the centre of Nottingham.”

The MP said he was confident that such a link could be delivered within the next five years, although the potential cost is around £25 million. But this is not a solo ambition, Mr Spencer has support from other local MPs and Nottinghamshire County Council as well as Midlands Connect.

With the East Midlands franchise, which operates the Robin Hood Line, concluding later this year, depending on whether Stagecoach decides to take legal action or not over its disqualification from bidding, the new franchisee, currently expected to be Abellio once the legal contracts are signed later this month, will have to submit a business case to the Secretary of State for Transport, if it wishes to progress the return of passenger services over the route.

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