Plans submitted which could lead to former rail stations re-opening in North Derbyshire towns

Thursday, June 25th, 2020 5:27pm

By Eddie Bisknell- Local Democracy Reporter @EddieBisk

A plan has been submitted to Government which could result in former train stations being brought back to life in Sheffield and North East Derbyshire. 

Regional transport bosses have published analysis in order to reopen the old Barrow Hill Line which connects Sheffield to Chesterfield through North East Derbyshire. 

The proposal also includes building stations in Sheffield at Nunnery Square in Wybourn and Beighton. 

Stations would also be constructed at Killamarsh, a site between Eckington and Renishaw, Staveley and Whittington in Chesterfield. 

The bid forms part of the Department for Transport’s Beeching Reversal Fund. Around £500 million has been put aside to reverse rail line cuts made in the 1960s.

A station at Waverley – situated next to the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre – is subject to another funding bid but would also sit on the Barrow Hill line. 

The plan is being drawn up by the Sheffield City Region and has support from five councils and a number of MPs in the region. 

A report seen by councillors shows the line will be able to take pressure off the already busy Midland Mainline to London which runs from Sheffield through Dore/Totley and Dronfield before reaching Chesterfield. 

It’s also suggested it will ease capacity to make way for HS2. 

Bosses have said the line is already double-tracked, maintained by Network Rail and ‘does not require significant maintenance work’. 

The line, if reopened, could also facilitate the regeneration of Sheffield Victoria station and surrounding area. 

Phase one of the plan includes the restoration of Barrow Hill Line; ensuring signalling, power, drainage, telecoms, track and fencing are compliant with requirements for passenger services. 

Phase two  includes the restoration of train stations on the Barrow Hill Line at Whittington, Staveley, Eckington/Renishaw, Killamarsh and Beighton; enabling stopping services to use the route and  bring connectivity improvements between Sheffield Midland and Chesterfield alongside any complimentary parking and integrated transport facilities at each site. 

Phase three would see the restoration of Nunnery Square with a new terminal which could lead to the potential restoration of Sheffield Victoria. 

Neal Byers, strategic transport officer at Sheffield City Region, said: “The route passes through predominantly suburban areas extending to the south east of Sheffield and the north east of Chesterfield, capturing a considerable commuter population for both urban centres.

“Current public transport journey times into the centre of Sheffield and Chesterfield are very long and tortuous, limiting opportunities for people in these communities to access productive jobs, education and healthcare.

“Reducing car reliance will have widespread benefits for congestion and travel times on key commuter routes, as well as contributing towards addressing the emission targets within Sheffield’s recently declared Clean Air Zone.

“At this stage, many of these constraints would require further investigation, but all stations are deemed to be feasible from an engineering perspective.”

The Government is expected to provide an update on the proposal next month.

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