High speed rail could be skirting through the Derwent Valley and to the east of Belper by 2032 – if a business proposal to link Derby with the controversial HS2 line is approved.
Derby City Council has put forward plans to the Department of Transport that the East Midlands link of the line be placed in the city - instead of Toton, Nottinghamshire, as previously announced.
But if its model is given the go-ahead, the most likely route north would be to the east of Belper as the Birmingham to Leeds branch of the line goes via Derby.
The city council unveiled the plans after a study was commissioned into the financial benefits of scrapping Toton as an East Midlands ‘hub’. Leader of the council Cllr Paul Bayliss said: “The study demonstrated that the Derby option is more sustainable than Toton in generating thousands of jobs for the region and greater economic benefits of just under £500 million.”
He added that the Derby idea was considered before Toton as the East Midlands station and said the authority was in talks with the Department for Transport as to the city’s business plan.
But Derbyshire County Council leaders have opposed fellow Labour-led city council colleagues by speaking out in favour of the Toton station. Deputy cabinet member for jobs, economy and transport, Cllr Andy Botham said: “We will work with our partners across Derbyshire to make sure that we make the most of the opportunities it will bring.”
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