Petition for new Buxton to Matlock rail line gathers steam

Pictured is a former rail line that once linked Matlock, Bakewell, Buxton and Manchester.
Pictured is a former rail line that once linked Matlock, Bakewell, Buxton and Manchester.

Hundreds more people have begun backing a campaign for a feasibility study to investigate the re-opening of the Buxton to Matlock railway line.

Campaigner James Wyatt started the online petition and wrote a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin during the summer.

The petition had attracted 1,200 people by September and has since grown to over 3,700 names and needs 10,000 to secure a response from the Government. A 100,000 names would allow the issue to be considered for a debate in Parliament.

Mr Wyatt said: “There would be opportunity for freight traffic to use the line from quarries around Buxton who currently have to use road transport when rail is the preferred alternative.”

He argued passenger numbers have grown and rail travel is in demand and Mr Wyatt feels the new line would boost tourism and the economy.

He added: “The line would provide a much-needed link that would offer a diversionary route for other lines during times of engineering works and take pressure off other lines where capacity is an issue, such as where freight is being routed that way when this line would offer a more direct route.”

He wants a study to establish the line should be re-opened after it closed to freight traffic in 1981. A study completed in 2004 found at that time such plans were unviable. The Department for Transport stated it is for local authorities and the rail industry to develop a case for re-opening the route.

Those interested can visit www.change.org/p/derbyshire-county-council-re-open-the-railway-line-between-matlock-bakewell-and-buxton-0f9466b7-62fc-4e95-9b3b-cee6adb65eea.