Council leader demands Government decision over Toton HS2 station

An artist's design of how Toton HS2 station would have looked. Instead there will now be a main network station there.


By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter

A council leader says people’s lives are being “left in limbo” as they wait to find out if their homes will be demolished to make way for a high speed railway.

Councillor Milan Radulovic (Lab), leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, is urging Government to “get its finger out” and make a long-awaited final decision over the proposed HS2 station at Toton.

The station would bring major investment into the area, including thousands of jobs and new homes.

But the scheme would also see 183 houses and 52 commercial properties demolished in Ratcliffe-on-Soar, Toton, Stapleford and Long Eaton.

The Department for Transport is due to confirm its plans for HS2 Nottinghamshire in the next few weeks.

But Coun Radulovic said more than five years of work and millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money have spent looking at the Toton site – and residents are being left in limbo.

He said: “They need to get their fingers out and make a decision. This has gone on far too long. Are they investing in Toton or aren’t they?

“It is affecting people in Trowell, Long Eaton, Toton, Nuthall and Stapleford.

“The uncertainty is blighting people’s lives. I have written to the Government half a dozen times.

“I want it to go through Toton. It would benefit our communities in terms of new houses, jobs and investment.”

And speaking about the properties that will be lost if Toton station is built, he added: “They do not know if it will affect them directly or not… whether to sell up or be bought out.

“It affects people’s opportunities to work and where they live. If it is not going through Toton then Government needs to end it now and stop blighting people’s lives.”

The HS2 line will run from London to Birmingham before splitting into a Y-shape, with the western leg going to Manchester and the eastern leg to Leeds, perhaps via Toton.

Last year, Ministers requested that the National Infrastructure Commission produce a Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North.

The review recommended Government ditch plans to build the HS2 station at Toton and create one at East Midlands Parkway instead.

The Government does not have to follow the fecommendation and could decide to continue with its plans to build in Toton.

But seven months on from the report, a decision has still not been made.

The DoT says its Integrated Rail Plan – including plans for Nottinghamshire – will be published in the next couple of weeks.

East Midlands Chamber has also written to the Prime Minister calling for an immediate decision to be made.

Chief Executive Scott Knowles has joined with the chief executives at Greater Birmingham, Greater Manchester, and West and North Yorkshire Chamber, which represent more than 14,000 businesses combined.

In a joint letter to Boris Johnson, they said HS2 would bring strong economic growth to each of their areas and called for the “speedy confirmation” of its delivery in full.

They said: “We believe that HS2 remains fundamentally misunderstood.

“In many quarters, it is still viewed as being purely a rail investment project sitting within the Department for Transport.

“HS2 is about much, much more than a new railway. This growth is about new business investment, house building, place regeneration, high-skilled job creation, innovation, green technologies and more.

“Ultimately this is about the most ambitious investment made by this country in living memory and its returns will be realised across multiple facets of our economy for generations to come.”

A DoT spokesman said: “We’re getting on with our top priorities of levelling up and investing in transport right across the country.

“The integrated rail plan will soon outline exactly how major rail projects, including HS2 phase 2b and other transformational projects such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, will work together to deliver the reliable train services that passengers in the North and Midlands need and deserve.”

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