SEP 00] RUGBY
BOROUGH COUNCIL NEWS
Council Wants A Signal On Central Rail Route
By ARRYN BUGGINS
New plans should be
produced to show the route of a proposed new railway passing thorough
east Warwickshire, say Rugby councillors.
consistently opposed the plan by Central Railway to reopen the line
just east of the town centre, as part of freight link from the Channel
Tunnel to the Midlands.
With the later
intervention of Chiltern Railways, it could see passenger services
running down the line that closed in the 1960s.
That saw the end of
local rail links with Lutterworth and Woodford Halse plus direct
services north to Leicester, Sheffield, Nottingham, and south to
Aylesbury and London Marylebone.
passenger services on the southern stretch of the former Central
Railway from London into Buckinghamshire, and wants to extend these
once more to Rugby and Leicester.
And there are fresh
rumblings this week on plans to open a line west of the town, with a
dedicated freight link into the Rugby Cement plan on the former Rugby
to Leamington line.
Both schemes have
been bubbling away for years, but seem to be coming to a head.
Rugby Borough Council
owns virtually all of the former Great Central Railway within its
boundary, from Willoughby in the south, through the town, up to Newton
in the north.
It bought the former
line for just £5 from British Rail and it is now the largest park in
Few doubt that a
handful of dog walkers and nature lovers could stop the reopening of
the strategic rail line, but environmental reasons are being used to
try and block the scheme that attracted minimal support when it went
to Parliament a few years back.
Revised plans, and
the surprise addition of a rival rail company wanting to offer
passenger services, means this scheme is now more viable, but still
faces massive local opposition.
Rugby Borough Council
meets again on Tuesday to discuss the revived plan, where Central
Railway has proposed three routes – one passing through the town,
and the others skirting out towards the DIRFT terminal at Crick and
then shadowing the M1 into Leicestershire avoiding the town
these alternate routes have attracted complaints from villagers whose
homes are close to these proposals.
And opponents claim
there is now blight along all three lines, and a preferred route needs
to be clarified.
Cllr James Shera, who
speaks for the council as borough development portfolio holder said
the council has not and will not change its mind on this project if it
means pushing trains close to housing estates in the town.
The line passes close
to long-established houses in the Southfields area and new homes in
Brownsover East, built in the 1990s.
Cllr Shera said:
has been told again that this council is completely opposed to the
idea of routing a new railway through the town on the route of the
former Great Central Railway, mainly because of potential
“But it has never
opposed the idea of a new railway in principle. We all want to see
more freight going by rail and an extra passenger line could be very
good for Rugby.
“Unlike the 1991
proposal, this time Central Railway has indicated that a new railway
line could bypass Rugby to the east but it has not proposed any
specific route and there could still be some progress with this –
although we will not know whether or not this is the case until it
some up with a definite proposal.
have kept in touch with neighbouring councils on this project and
will continue to do so in order to work together and avoid potential
council has not proposed any alternative routes east of Rugby, it
has continued to press Central Railway for more details information
ever since it resurrected the proposal.
“As the company
is not providing this information, we will be discuss the best way
forward and the action we can take ourselves at the next meeting of
the Borough Development Panel on Tuesday.”
[10 AUG 00] BID TO REOPEN CENTRAL RAILWAY