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Examination of Witnesses

Part of High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 9th July 2013.

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Jane Urquart: I think Toton is a better solution for the east midlands, and it is the best solution for the east midlands. There would be a difficulty with Derby particularly; again, connectivity from Nottingham would then be problematic. Both in terms of economic drivers and potential passenger numbers, Nottingham offers the greatest economic return, so Toton seems a reasonable option. At that location, there is considerable rail infrastructure already, because it is a very large sidings area, so for rail overall it seems to offer a better option than East Midlands Parkway, which is simply a parkway station on the midland main line. The level of rail infrastructure already there is nowhere near as great as at Toton, so the opportunities for good connectivity and the classic compatible issues for the whole of the east midlands—both Derby and Nottingham—are greater from Toton than they would be from East Midlands Parkway. Therefore, although in some ways East Midlands Parkway might, on the face of it, seem to be a good idea, I think that Toton is the best location, and with the right connectivity we can make it work extremely well for the east midlands and for Nottingham and Derby. It is that connectivity that will really make the difference.