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Fresh calls for historic train route to be reopened

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 27, 2014

South Derbyshire District Council councillors..Heather Wheeler

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CALLS have been made for the reopening of a defunct passenger train line, more than 50 years after if was shut down.

The Ivanhoe line running through Burton, South Derbyshire North West Leicestershire was axed following the controversial Beeching report in 1963, which saw the end of lines up and down the country.

But on the 51st anniversary of the report’s publication, the Burton branch of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union has appealed for it to be reopened to passengers, to deal with a growing number of commuters into Burton.

Branch chairman Paul Walker said: “‘Over recent years traffic entering Burton from communities along the route has increased significantly making the case for re-opening the line even stronger as it would undoubtedly ease congestion.

“It would also be greener and would prevent the need for the building of a further road crossing over the Trent because there is an existing rail crossing.’

“We do not believe that it is acceptable in the modern day for communities in South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire not to have access to a rail service especially when the existing line is already in use.”

The line has continued to be used by freight trains since it was axed as a passenger service.

Mr Walker added that a large amount of jobs could be created by reinstating the route, and it would create a better service heading from Burton direct to Leicester.

His comments follow those of MPs Andrew Bridgen and Heather Wheeler, who last year wrote to the Transport Secretary calling for him to look at reopening the historic route.

Mrs Wheeler said: “South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire, at the heart of the National Forest, are fast growing districts in the Midlands so all the help we can get to take traffic off the roads and give commuters, shoppers and tourists an alternative way of travelling will be of great benefit both economically and for our quality of life.”

The Reshaping of British Railways report was published in 1963 by Dr Richard Beeching, and saw 30 per cent of route miles discarded.

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