Success! Ilkeston to get station!
Ilkeston's last train station, Ilkeston Junction, was taken away in 1967 following the closure of Ilkeston North three years prior. Recommendations to the government from one Richard Beeching, Chairman of British Railways, resulted in massive changes which saw over a third of England’s rail network disappear in an attempt to save money on a botched modernisation process. Over 2000 stations closed and thousands of miles of track were removed. The “Beeching Axe” fell on Ilkeston and decapitated a vital transport link.
Finally, it has been announced Ilkeston was successful in its bid for the station funds.
In the past we were known as “the largest town in England with no railway station” which may partly account for the withering local economy and absence of retailers in recent years. Indeed, once upon a time, Ilkeston was busy and thriving. Now it provides the kinds of amenities tailored to a mere existence of its residents. We all hope the new station will be a catalyst for renewed interest and pride in the town.
The new station will relieve congestion on roads such as the A609 and possibly all roads into Ilkeston, simultaneously addressing safety issues. An previous concern to this road congestion issue was the prospect of new housing in Ilkeston would serve only serve to exasperate the situation if the station was not provided.
Economic deprivation and unemployment in North Erewash is amongst the highest in Derbyshire and car ownership is low. Those whose employment hopes lie outside of the borough need to be able to travel further afield rather than relying on over-crowded, under-performing bus services, which, again, puts Ilkeston at a disadvantage. The railway link will offer alternatives to cars and buses and perhaps encourage residents to travel to work (if in Nottingham or Derby) by railway. Ilkeston FC fans are pleased that their football travel arrangements for away games (as well as attracting supporters of other team into Ilkeston) has reached a resolution.
Derbyshire County Council are keen to press ahead with development now that they have secured funds for the estimated cost of building work, though the alleged budget was previously called into question by Broxtowe Councillor Steve Barber:
You can read letters and articles from this site dating back to April 2012.
Local business and unemployment
In 2007 The American Adventure closed its gates for good after struggling to maintain a steady flow of punters. Upon it’s opening in 1987 it was heralded as one of the UK’s first major theme parks and received an investment of approximately £8m. Twenty years later it remains abandoned and once more the Coal Board must find a buyer for the land. If Ilkeston had never lost its train station in the first place, would this transport link have been sufficient to bring paying customers to support the park ? This is yet another example of a failed Ilkeston business that had potential. We can definitely say the landscape of our town today could be somewhat different if only we always had a railway service taken for granted by other towns and cities in England.
Local support (from 2012)
"We need to keep the pressure on the people responsible for making this happen and ensure this gets sorted. Ilkeston is the largest town in the country which lies on the rail network and does not have a station. This should not be allowed to continue so have your say and support the campaign. We have waited too long for a train station and we will not wait any longer."
Tel: 0115 944 6160
"I would like to add my full support for a train station in Ilkeston. This is an excellent campaign and it is really important for the local community I believe in and around Ilkeston to get fully behind this.
7 Scargill Avenue, Newthorpe, Nottingham, NG16 2DZ
At the appropriate time, I will gladly make any necessary representations to train companies to highlight the benefits of stopping at Ilkeston.
I have also had several meetings with the local authorities and I seek progress from all the relevant authorities in making this much-needed service a reality.
I have undertaken meetings in recent weeks and months with the borough councils and the county council in Derbyshire. I have written to the leader of Derbyshire county council, and I am encouraged by the reply that I have received. The letter, from Councillor Andrew Lewer, dated 25 November, confirms that the station proposal, the estimated cost of which is £5 million to £6 million, is one of the major transport infrastructure proposals in the local transport plan, and that it is deliverable within the time scale of the current Parliament. Further, he accepts that the plan offers good value for money."
The Office of Jessica Lee MP, 73 Derby Road, Long Eaton, NG10 1LU
House of Common, London, SW1A 0AA
"Re-opening Ilkeston Station is seen as a key element in Greater Nottingham Transport thinking. It would serve not only Ilkeston in Erewash but also Awsworth, Cossall and other parts of Broxtowe. The road from Ilkeston to Nottingham is congested and many commuters now drive to Phoenix Park to use the tram. A direct 15 minute rail service would be a great asset.
For those reasons the Greater Nottingham Joint Planning Advisory Board (GN JPAB) unanimously voted £1m towards the £5m cost of the station. The next rail franchise is to be let in 2014 and it is anticipated to include a stop at Ilkeston. Providing patronage exceeds 150,000 per annum (Beeston has almost 500,000) this is viable. As the rail industry will not carry the full risk of a shortfall it is up to everyone to ensure that happens.
GN JPAB is the only formerly constituted body representing the 8 local authorities in the Greater Nottingham Conurbation. Other Core cities have a Passenger Transport Executive and their local rail network is generally better. However, Nottingham having won awards for public transport is a city determined to succeed. At a recent meeting the constituent local authorities agreed on further joint working through the GN JPAB, Ilkeston station being a prime example of what can be achieved by working together.
Let’s hope the £1m from us is the spark needed to ensure this project is completed."
Greater Nottingham Joint Planning Advisory Board
Labour Borough Cllr for Beeston Rylands
Town Hall, Foster Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AE
Read and comment on letters/articles sent in by residents, businesses, MPs and Councillors.
Link to us
It would be very much appreciated if you would find a moment to create a link back to IlkestonTrainStation.co.uk from your own site. We need as much support as possible and your patronage counts.
A brief outline of Ilkeston's past and the function of the three railway stations. More »
The proposed Ilkeston railway station and the economic future of Erewash More »
Thoughts and views from businesses, residents, local councillors and MPs. More »
Ilkeston needs you! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Share and have your say. More »
Find out about the "Back on Track" campaign and the Westminster debates. More »
Written views from organisations, businesses, residents MPs and Councillors. More »