Councillor labels station plan ‘daft’

Plans to make Derby the East Midlands destination of the HS2 high speed rail network - have been slammed by the leader of Ripley Town Council.

The proposals put forward three weeks ago by Labour controlled Derby City Council were to link the line, set to run super fast trains between London and the north of England by 2032, with a station in the city instead of Toton, as previously mooted.

Leader of the city council Paul Bayliss says this would bring “thousands of jobs for the region” and a £500 million boost to the ‘areas’s’ economy.

But the route of the line north of Derby would likely be through the Ripley area.

This, according to leader of Ripley Town Council Cllr Steve Freeborn, would mean a devastating loss of countryside. He said: “I can see why Derby City Council would like to have a station near them - it would undoubtedly helpo their economy. But the consequences for us in Ripley would be to see a high speed rail liknk built straight through our community without any benefit whatsoever.”

Cllr Freeborn said the economic case for a station a tToton makes more sense for the Ripley and Heanor area and would have less of an impact on our green spaces.

“What we should be doing now is campaigning to get really good high speed links into Toton from Alfreton,Derby Langley Mill, Ilkeston and Ambergate,” he added.

Derbyshire County Council’s deputy cabinet member for jobs, economy and transpor Cllr Andy Botham has also said: “If you take the line north out of Derby, instead of out of Toton, you are going to be cutting through a vast swathe of heritage land.”