New 'parkway' station could be built in East Midlands
A FUTURE high-speed rail line could see a new "parkway" station built in the East Midlands.
The idea was raised by Sir David Rowlands, who is heading a group commissioned by the Government to suggest the best routes for the possible high-speed network.
Nottingham Parkway station
The group is due to report back to the Government at the end of December – but Sir David has signalled the best route may run directly through the region.
The East Midlands Parkway station opened next to Ratcliffe-on-Soar earlier this year, so any new station would need to take a different name. It is not yet known where it would be sited.
"We have not done detailed work into specific sites where stops might go in the East Midlands, said Sir David Rowlands.
"But, looking at it, you may need to find a solution that serves more than one of the cities.
"Taken individually, Nottingham, Leicester or Derby may not have adequate capacity for a high-speed line. They are not as big as Birmingham or Manchester.
"But if you take them together, and have something that can serve all three, that's maybe the best way to go."
So far, the country has one high-speed line, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, which runs 109 miles from the coast to London using 140mph "Javelin" trains.
Earlier this year, the Government set up High Speed 2 and asked it to look into the viability of a link between London and Birmingham and possibilities for extending the line to Scotland.
The group has considered several models but Sir David says a "Y" shaped option could be the "best performing" – in terms of the benefits, weighed against costs.
The 'Y' would see trains running from London to Birmingham, at which point it would split with one branch going to Manchester and a second branch going to Leeds.
The stretch of the "Y" running from Birmingham to Leeds would pass through the East Midlands, giving planners the option of stopping at a main city or somewhere in between.
Business chiefs in the city welcomed the possibility of high-speed rail coming to the East Midlands but warned that some of the benefits might be lost if it was not closely connected to a city.
John Dowson, from the Notts and Derbyshire Chamber said: "If a station was connected to a city rather than a parkway it would cut connecting traffic.
"The time it would take to get to a parkway would also negate the shorter journey times of the high-speed train itself.
"But obviously there are huge benefits to high-speed rail and we want to be a part of it."
After High Speed 2 reports, the Government is expected to make a decision on proposals next year.