Mayoral candidates to discuss line reopening

5 Feb 2024

 

Plans for the restoration of the Buxton to Matlock railway will take a step forward as the candidates for East Midlands mayor are due to attend a meeting in the High Peak later this month.

The Manchester and East Midlands Rail Action Partnership (MEMRAP) has long been campaigning to reinstate the 23 miles of railway between Buxton and Matlock through the Peaks and Dales.

On Thursday February 8, a meeting will take place at Whaley Bridge Uniting Church at 6pm.

Stephen Chaytow, from MEMRAP, said: “For the meeting we have secured he attendance of all three mayoral candidates for the East Midlands mayor. We have worked hard to achieve such interest.

“This is an unusual event - when else will all three candidates be in High Peak at the same time?

“Our thinking is that each candidate will have the opportunity to introduce themselves to the audience and that it would be great to have them say whatever they think is appropriate about the Peak and Dales line proposals.

“MEMRAP proposes that a private investor will fund the build of the line, as the government can’t afford it, so this is interesting for all candidates.”

MEMRAP is leading the work to reinstate and upgrade the former Midland Mainline railway between Ambergate and Chinley - fondly known as the ‘Peaks and Dales Railway’.

The MEMRAP proposals include upgrading 23 miles and reinstating 13 miles of link railway to, once again, link Matlock to Buxton by rail, via Bakewell. The aim is to reconnect communities across the Peak District National Park which were left isolated by what Stephen calls the disastrous and short-sighted Beeching Report’.

The line carried passengers and freight through the heart of the Peak District National Park from 1867 to 1968.

Stephen said: “Re-provisioning the fabulous Monsal Trail and connecting it to stations along the reinstated railway, would ensure visitors continue to enjoy this spectacular attraction within the Peak District National Park, enabling the 13.25m annual visiitrs to travel by train, reducing environmental impact and boosting economic benefit; encouraging inward investment in the region.”

 

Buxton Advertiser, 1 February 2024, by Lucy Ball