The new Conservative MP for Ashfield has vowed to “fight tooth and nail” in a bid to see an historic former railway line reopened.
Lee Anderson, who was elected to parliament in December, says remote areas like Selston and Jacksdale have been “forgotten” for “far too long” and says he will press to see the Maid Marian Line reopened – almost 60 years after it closed.
The line was one of many railway lines that shut during the ‘Beeching Cuts' in the 1960s, but the government pledged £500 million to reopen many of these lines and “reconnect communities" during the December election campaign.
If successful, the line would run from Kirkby and through Selston, before moving towards Langley Mill, Ilkeston and then Nottingham – and it is hoped that it could connect Ashfield to the future HS2 hub in Toton.
Mr Anderson says he is “determined” to put forward a case to Grant Shapps, transport secretary, and to ensure parts of the district are not “left behind”.
He said: “Residents will be aware that I have been in long discussions with the Transport Secretary to look at opening up the Maid Marion Line to passengers in Selston and the rural parts of Ashfield.
“For far too long these remote areas have been forgotten about and I fully intend to fight tooth and nail to ensure we get a first class transport system.
“We are determined that no part of this country is left behind, and that no business is held back, because of poor infrastructure. At the start of this decade of renewal, areas like Ashfield will be at the forefront of this One Nation Conservative government’s plans.”
Ashfield District Council published a report aimed at reopening the line during spring 2019, with council leader Councillor Jason Zadrozny saying it will improve connectivity for residents.
He added: “It’s imperative, given we are the largest district in Notts in terms of population, that if HS2 is happening around us then we have to connect ourselves to it.
“We have got to do this, it’s essential if we want our residents to have access to this scheme.”