Plans for a Gamesley rail station halted

Councillor Dave Wilcox, who is campaigning for a train station in Gamesley.
Councillor Dave Wilcox, who is campaigning for a train station in Gamesley.

Plans for a Gamesley train station have been stopped in their tracks after the transport board announced it needed more information before funding could be secured.

As previously reported, it seemed the proposed railway halt was gaining momentum after Derbyshire County Council bid for £5 million of Goverment grants aimed at regional transport projects.

But, cuts in the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Local Transport Board’s budget, which has been slashed from £47 million to £31 million, could mean the project is delayed by another year.

However, County Councillor Dave Wilcox said that Gamesley Halt had not been excluded from future programmes as a result of the budget being lower than expected.

The new station proposal forms one of a group of potential schemes which carry risks to delivery in that the consent of a third party is required but not yet secured.

For a rail project this consent falls into two parts: agreement that an operator will be able to make the stop and agreement from Network Rail that it is willing to accept and maintain the station as part of its asset management programme.

Cllr Wilcox said that the Gamesley proposal could not be recommended unless it was definitely able to become operational during the 2015-19 period.

He said that he had been assured that there was no reason why the station project could not be progressed quickly enough to be ready for consideration when the next tranche of funding available for major infrastructure projects in Derbyshire.

It is anticipated that this budget will be fixed in July 2014.

The council’s new target is to establishing ‘approval in principle’ from Network Rail, confirm with Transport for Greater Manchester that there is no operational constraint and that there is a strong enough business case to make the stop.

Cllr Wilcox said that the first known reference to a Gamesley Rail Halt was to his knowledge in 1938, when a local newspaper carried a story on electrification of the Sheffield to Manchester line through Woodhead.

He said: “Given that it has been on the agenda for 75 years, a delay of another year is just about acceptable. It’s disappointing that funding is not yet secured, but it’s closer than it has been for several years.”

Deputy Leader of High Peak Borough Council Anthony McKeown confirmed that he was disappointed that the project had been deferred, but that he was still hopeful that it could see the light of day.