On Wednesday 16th September, I spoke in the Westminster Hall on the Midland Main Line (Electrification) to represent my constituents and echo my earlier support for the work to be resumed as soon as possible.
As many of you will know, earlier this year, the Government announced that due to spiraling costs, the scheme to electrify the Midland Main Line – which would include parts of the line running through Amber Valley – would be paused. In response to this announcement, I was vocal in my support for this scheme and urged the Government to resume the project as soon as possible and I took this opportunity to reiterate my support and represent my constituents.
I have been contacted by a number of you since this pause was announced and I know that people want to know that the future of the line will be. There is a strong business case for these improvements including economic investment and improved journey times.
As many of you will already know, the current – paused – plans for electrification include many parts of the line that pass through Amber Valley however, this original plan missed out stations on the line through Langley Mill and Alfreton, on the Nottingham to Sheffield stretch. This is something I have raised in Parliament on a number of occasions in the past, so I took this opportunity to ask that this stretch of the line might be reconsidered during this pause. As ever, I shall keep you updated on any progress with this matter.
This is a very important scheme. It has a very strong business case. And I strongly believe that it ought to go ahead. I want to see this pause done, get this important project re-energised, get a new timetable, which I hope would show completion in the early 2020s, and get the other improvements done.
Rest assured, I shall continue to raise this matter in Parliament again to try and obtain a timescale on how long this pause will last and when we can expect this long-awaited and much needed work to be completed. I shall of course keep you updated on my efforts to seek improvements on the current situation and any announcements from the Government on this.
You can read the full text of my contributions to this important debate here.