HS2 hub at Toton still in the frame

hs2 trainAfter weeks of rumour, the news was released today that alternatives to Toton are being considered as the East Midlands hub for HS2.

David Higgins, HS2 chair, announced that Breaston was now in the frame, with the line running through Erewash rather than Broxtowe. Neverless, Toton has not been ruled out and Nottingham City Council and Broxtowe Borough Council will be campaigning hard to keep the Toton option open.

The relevant paragraphs of his report are here:

EASTERN LEG: East Midlands hub

A combination of geography, historic land use and existing infrastructure
makes it difficult to come up with the perfect solution for the East
Midlands. The current proposal suggests a new station for HS2 at Toton,
located between Derby and Nottingham, to maximise the benefit for
the whole region and avoid a zero-sum game in which one city gains
at the expense of the other. To their credit both cities recognise that
and, therefore, fundamentally I believe the East Midlands hub continues
to make sense. There is a question, however, as to whether the particular
location at Toton is the best physical choice. It is clear from discussions
with local stakeholders, and considering our broader strategic objectives,
that the right location is one which delivers the best fit with existing
services, especially to Derby and Nottingham.

For those reasons I am now proposing we investigate alternative station
sites to the west of Toton, which can provide much better road and rail
connections via the M1 and Midland Main Line respectively. Our aim
should be to find a solution which provides new and better links to the
centres of Derby and Nottingham and the wider region, while providing
road access for Leicester. The East Midlands hub would greatly improve
not just North-South connectivity, but also East-West links across
the Midlands. The journey time from Nottingham to Birmingham, for
instance, would be transformed.

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