Councillors want to switch HS2 station from Toton to Parkway
THE high-speed rail station that will link Nottingham with London and the North should be built at East Midlands Parkway, according to two Rushcliffe councillors.
Liberal Democrat councillors Rod Jones and Karrar Khan wanted council leader Neil Clarke to make the case to bring HS2 to the Parkway off the A453 – instead of the proposed new station at Toton Sidings.
The motion was discussed at a full council meeting of Rushcliffe Borough Council, but it was suggested that the case should be made for a station "near" to East Midlands Parkway – and only when HS2 gets signed off.
Councillor Rod Jones said that previously the council had focused on the A453 and electrification of the Midland Main Line and not on high-speed rail.
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He added: "The borough's silence on HS2 sticks out like a sore thumb. The HS2 line comes tantalisingly close to the three main cities in the East Midlands and the airport.
"There is a strong case for locating the East Midlands HS2 station at East Midlands Parkway. Such a station would give good road access to East Midlands Airport, to both cities via the A453, A50 or A6 and also retains the proximity to the M1.
"However, the greatest merit of this option is access to the existing main passenger rail network. Even Leicester would then benefit, with better access by rail to the North."
Mr Jones added businesses in Rushcliffe would also benefit if the station were located at East Midlands Parkway.
But council leader Neil Clarke said it was more important for the council to lobby for improvements to existing infrastructure.
He added: "In the past, we have been more focused on projects like the A453 and the electrification of the Midland Main Line and we're glad that both projects are in the process of getting sorted because they are important.
"I can understand the argument for bringing the High Speed 2 station to Parkway should the project go ahead.
"It has good connectivity to Nottingham and train services to Leicester, Derby and the east coast. But the project is a long way off as it stands."
Mr Clarke added that as the project moves closer to reality, he will make sure that residents in the area will benefit.