Ivanhoe Line announcement a major boost for North West Leicestershire

Published: Sun 24 May, 2020

News that the reinstatement of the Ivanhoe Line between Burton and Leicester has moved a step closer has been welcomed by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) Leader, Richard Blunt.

The announcement named the first round winners of the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund announced ten bids to the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund who will share £500,000 to develop proposals to enhance, build or reopen railway lines and stations. The funding will provide up to 75% towards feasibility studies. Sixty bids were submitted to the first round.

This included the reinstatement of the Ivanhoe Line, a project led by the Campaign to Re-open Ivanhoe Line (CRIL), which has been supported by several local authorities, including NWLDC.

Much of the line would pass through North West Leicestershire with stations proposed in Coalville, Ashby de la Zouch and Moira.

Councillor Richard Blunt, Leader of North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “Re-opening the Ivanhoe line would be a major boost to North West Leicestershire’s economy, businesses and residents, and today’s announcement from Government is very welcome.

“It’s a project that we’ve long been supportive of and an injection of Government funding would be a huge step in the right direction in making this a financially viable project.

“Can I congratulate CRIL who have been the driving force behind this bid and we continue to offer our support for the business case that now must be submitted.

“A huge amount of our effort as a council is currently focused on recovery from this pandemic and how we support an economic revival in the district – and the re-opening of the Ivanhoe line would be a huge long-term boost to this ambition.”

The re-opening of the Ivanhoe Line would also have huge environmental benefits for the district.

Councillor Blunt added: “The rail line would get cars off our roads, reduce the district’s carbon footprint and help to improve air quality – all of which is part of our zero carbon agenda. We are very much looking forward to continuing our support for this project.”

Today’s announcement forms part of a government investment of £283 million of funding for roads, railways, buses and trams to improve public safety and protect services across the U.K. The funding is divided into £254 million for buses nationally and £29 million for trams and light rail, increasing the frequency and capacity of services. 

Describing the government’s intention to reverse many of the Beeching railway cuts, the Transport Sectetary said, “Many of the places removed from the map never recovered. That report was perhaps the origin of the left-behind town, but we’re working to reverse Beeching. Our mission is to level up Britain.”

For more information on project visit the CRIL webpage at https://ivanhoeline.org/

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