Littleworth Rail Station reopening project take step forward
A group has been formed to draw up a bid for cash to reopen a disused train station in South Holland.
Parish, district and county councillors, as well as Sir John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, are all working together on the bid to restore Littleworth Rail Station, in Deeping St Nicholas.
The working group is taking on the aspirations of the Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum, which was disbanded at the end of June, to reopen Littleworth as an additional stop on the Peterborough to Doncaster railway line.
Deeping St Nicholas parish councillor Louise McGuinness, a member of the working group, said: "Since 2005 we have been highlighting the benefits of having a station at Littleworth, not only to contribute towards reducing carbon emissions but to support the economy by growing business and opportunity in our area.
"Having a new rail station south of the county is an opportunity that is within sight and can contribute towards improving infrastructure and the future vision of transport though to 2036."
The Government launched a £500million Restoring Your Railway Fund in January to support proposals aimed at reopening railway lines and stations, many of which were closed in the 1960s.
In addition, Network Rail has its own £20million New Stations Fund to improve rail connections across the country.
Sir John said: "I've spoken to the Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, to make it clear that we are interested in being involved in bidding.
"But it's an onerous job to put a bid together because the Government is demanding that we have a really strong business case and evidence of potential demand."
County councillor Liz Sneath, another member of the working group, said: "There are so many benefits to having a station for residents of Deeping St Nicholas and further afield.
"Taking the train to Peterborough will mean a short and easy journey for residents of the village, which has some large housing developments happening now and in the pipeline.
"It will also be helpful for residents of nearby villages and the many properties being developed to the west of Spalding.
"The environmental benefits of less cars on the busy roads to Peterborough and less congestion are also a major bonus.
"I will be working hard in supporting this initiative, with officers from the county council and other group members."
Maria Clayton, route enhancements manager for Network Rail, said: "We are committed to working with stakeholders to improve railway connectivity in south Lincolnshire.