High Speed 2 for Nottinghamshire: FAQs and More information

The Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) announced on 18 November 2021, gives us a commitment from the government that they intend to deliver the whole of the HS2 network, including the eastern leg, as well as the electrification of the Midland Main Line. It’s great news for our county as it confirms that HS2 will include a stop inside Nottinghamshire. The government has also confirmed that better east-west connections will be delivered, including links between Coventry and Leicester, with high-speed trains calling at Chesterfield. It will bring towns and cities in our region closer together.

It gives us the reassurance we need to move forward with local plans to make the most of the massive opportunities that HS2 creates; boosting regeneration, and bringing more jobs and investment into our region.

A new high-speed train line will connect the West Midlands to the East Midlands, significantly reducing journey times between London and Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield, as well as Birmingham and Nottingham, and freeing up capacity on the Midland Main Line south of East Midlands Parkway. The journey time from Birmingham to Nottingham is expected to fall to under half an hour, and from London to Nottingham to under an hour.

The IRP states that after the improvements it outlines are in place, there will be a doubling of capacity (number of seats) between both Nottingham and Derby and London, and more than a tripling of capacity between Nottingham and Birmingham, as well as an increase from an increase from 2 trains per hour to 4 trains per hour from Birmingham to Nottingham.

No. Many public and private sector organisations, MPs and local council leaders, including Nottinghamshire County Council’s Leader Ben Bradley MP, have been working hard to make the case for HS2, in the face of speculation that it would be axed. The announcement on 18 November 2021 that it will go ahead, with a confirmed stop in Nottinghamshire, will make a massive difference to our county and will ensure our region does not get left behind and miss out on the benefits that HS2 will bring. Levelling up our county and the East Midlands is about much more than just a train line, but the jobs, investment and growth that this makes possible.

We will continue to work with the government to ensure that HS2 is delivered as quickly as possible, so we can build back better after the pandemic.

Having a stop at East Midlands Parkway means that HS2 will go to Nottingham and Derby city centres directly, rather than with a stop between the two cities at Toton, which would have meant passengers for Nottingham and Derby would have to change trains. 

The government considered whether Toton could be redesigned to allow HS2 services to connect to the existing rail network and continue to Nottingham and Derby. They have said this would be difficult to achieve without a significant redesign of the proposed station and additional environmental and community impacts. Services to Derby and Nottingham would also be slower under this option, with Derby trains would have to reverse in the station. Services to Nottingham would take a less direct route than if they used the line through Beeston and this would also require a relatively low speed connection, with the potential for multiple conflicts with other services.

The government report also highlights that East Midlands Parkway is south of Trent Junction, where the lines to Nottingham (via Beeston) and Derby diverge, meaning that HS2 services, from London, could run direct to Nottingham and Derby and, from Birmingham, direct to Nottingham. Like Toton, East Midlands Parkway is next to one of the three planned major regeneration sites in the region, the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station site. It is also closer than Toton to the third major development site, East Midlands Airport and the planned East Midlands Freeport.

There is still the potential for a conventional rail link and station to Toton to be upgraded for high-speed trains in the future, and Nottinghamshire County Council fully supports this.

We will continue to make the case to government to get HS2 done, as soon as possible. We will continue to work with partner organisations to make this happen. We have to accept that the impact of the pandemic means that budgets are tight, and so a phased approach is sensible, but at the same time we are determined that the eastern leg, all the way up to Leeds, should be built and up and running as soon as is practical.

The eastern leg of HS2 was always going to take a long time to deliver, with the line to Toton and beyond originally planned to be up and running by 2040 at the earliest. But today’s announcement gives us the certainty we need to move ahead with work associated with HS2, working with the Development Corporation, to attract investment and jobs within the next 5 years, rather than the next 20 or more.

The IRP refers to a rail link and conventional station at Toton, which could later be upgraded for high-speed trains. It means that plans to make a new station at Toton a reality can start today. It gives much needed clarity to investors and will help to kick start ambitious regeneration plans in the wider area. The plans for Toton and the wider Development Corporation could create 84,000 jobs and add billions in value to the regional economy, with developments covering the equivalent size of three Olympic Parks.

We will continue to work with the government to make the case for HS2 to go through Toton and up to Leeds, and how this would dramatically boost economic regeneration in Nottinghamshire and across the East Midlands.

We believe it is. Billions of pounds worth of investment will go into our region. Today’s Integrated Rail Plan contains all of Midlands Connect’s key priority schemes within it.

Transport spend per head in the East Midlands has been significantly below the UK average for the last 20 years, declining to just 55% of the UK average in 2018/19, the lowest level of any UK region or nation. The plans outlined in the IRP will help to reverse this trend.

No. HS2 will act as a catalyst for growth. Phase One of HS2 in the West Midlands has already led to more than 12,000 jobs being created, including many apprenticeships helping to address the UK’s skills shortage, with 313 businesses directly involved in the supply chain. The impact HS2 has had across the region has led to projections being revised upwards, with the number of jobs forecasted now at 175,000.

We’re determined that Nottinghamshire will not miss out on the benefits that HS2 will bring. The price of not investing in people’s futures far outweighs the costs of a new railway line.

A lack of access to public transport is a key factor in limiting access to jobs, earning potential and life opportunities, and plans outlined in the IRP will help to address this in Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands.

Toton and Chetwynd are at the heart of planned developments which will have a massive benefit across Nottinghamshire and further afield. The plans have been in the pipeline for many years, and are a part of work led by the East Midlands Development Corporation, which aims to deliver 84,000 jobs for the East Midlands and an economic boost of £4.8billion to the local economy.

A consultation on the future of Toton and Chetwynd Barracks, led by Broxtowe Borough Council, is currently taking place, until Monday 13 December. It includes detailed proposals for the area. People in Toton, Chilwell, Stapleford, Sandiacre and Long Eaton are all being encouraged to take part.

The Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) also refers to improvements to the East Coast Main Line, which runs from London to Newark, and then onto Doncaster, York and Newcastle. This includes new digital signalling, upgrading the power supply to allow for longer and more frequent trains, increasing maximum speeds to 140mph in some areas, improving stations, and work to tackle bottlenecks, which limit speed and capacity. 

As part of this, subject to a future business case, a level crossing at Newark is due to be improved so that trains between Nottingham and Lincoln won’t have to wait for an East Coast Main Line train to pass to be able to carry on, like they do currently. This means that rather than trains travelling north-south and east-west sometimes having to wait for each other to pass, the crossing could be upgraded so trains pass overhead, removing the need to wait. 

As part of improvements as outlined in the IRP, Newark, Retford and other towns would see better services in terms of destinations served, electrified trains, higher frequencies, more seats and/or faster services.

The IPR refers to integrating plans for Toton with proposals for reopening and extending the Main Marion Line, from Nottingham to Mansfield, connecting Mansfield, Sutton and Kirkby in Ashfield, and Ilkeston to the future high-speed train line, and the Robin Hood Line. A shuttle service could go from Toton to the HS2 stop at East Midlands Parkway. 

The Robin Hood line would go between Nottingham to Ollerton/Worksop, connecting Ollerton and Edwinstowe to Nottingham. More details about plans for both the Maid Marian and Robin Hood Lines are expected to be confirmed over the coming months.

The IRP refers to plans for introducing London-style contactless ticketing across the Midlands and the north, which would allow passengers to tap in and out with a debit or credit card. This would mean an end to queuing at ticket offices, and would automatically charge passengers the best fare. Work on this is due to begin immediately, with a view to rolling this out over the next few years.

Having trouble visualising current train line routes? This railway map shows existing lines, stations, and other details.

Read the Integrated Rail Plan for the North and the Midlands

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