Plans for direct London trains from north Nottinghamshire welcomed …

Hull Trains, which is run by FirstGroup
By Jamie Waller, Local Democracy Reporter

Plans for a new direct Sheffield to London rail service which passes through Nottinghamshire have been hailed as a “great start to the New Year”.

Rail operator FirstGroup would run two return services each day, calling at Retford, Worksop, Woodhouse and Sheffield.

It could begin operating by late 2025 if approved, providing the first regular direct train from Worksop to the capital in decades.

The operator has submitted a formal application to the Office of Road and Rail today (January 5).

A consultation will now be carried out, the operator will seek the required approvals from Network Rail.

The company says it aims to offer faster services between Sheffield and London than other operators, and reduce the number who make the journey by car.

Bassetlaw District Council leaders say improved rail connections would give a welcome boost to the economy.

Leader Councillor James Naish (Labour) said: “This is great news for Bassetlaw and the wider region. Rail remains a key form of transport for many Bassetlaw residents and businesses, so more north-south and east-west connectivity will help to boost both the local and regional economy.

“This is especially welcomed at a time of significant investment coming into the District via the East Midlands Investment Zone, the STEP fusion energy project and other initiatives, helping Bassetlaw to become a more sustainable place to live and work.”

Councillor Jo White (Lab), Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Business and Skills, said: “This is great news for the start of the New Year. It is decades since trains regularly went from Worksop to London.

“Making Worksop a key element of the commuter line between London and Sheffield will inevitably create new opportunities for local businesses and our communities.

“Retford will also benefit from the greater connectivity to Sheffield and London and will serve to strengthen and build our economy.”

First Group is an open access operator, meaning it isn’t under contract with the government, unlike most rail companies.

FirstGroup Chief Executive Officer, Graham Sutherland said: “We want to leverage our extensive experience of running open access services and repeat the success of Hull Trains and Lumo through this new route that connects London and Sheffield.

“We have seen the level of growth and opportunity that is possible with open access, as well as the positive effect it can have on the wider market, including economic and environmental benefits.

“The new service will help to drive modal shift from road to rail by offering customers a more sustainable travel alternative between the two cities. We will be working closely with stakeholders as we build our application and our case for this new offering.”

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