A keen Derbyshire walker and nature-lover who does not drive has collected more than 5,000 signatures for a petition to see the railway line between Matlock, Bakewell, Buxton and Manchester re-opened.
James Wyatt’s petition, addressed to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and 15 others, including Derbyshire County Council leader Anne Western, claims passenger numbers have grown astronomically in all but one of the stations along the current Derwent Valley Line during recent years.
He said: “As a non-driver I know there are a lot of others who would like to be able to access the Peak District.
“It would also take a lot of traffic off the A6 and put it on the railway instead.
“The line would also provide a much-needed link that would offer a diversionary route for other lines during times of engineering works and also take pressure off other lines where capacity is an issue.”
Charles Lawley, Liberal Democrat candidate for the Chapel and Hope Valley constituency, said he supported the proposal in theory.
He added: “It’s a good idea to have one route from Buxton to Manchester.”
A study completed in 2004 found at that time such plans were unviable.
The Department for Transport stated it was for local authorities and the rail industry to develop a case for re-opening the route.
But figures from the Office Of Rail And Road website compiled by James show usage at Matlock Railway Station had increased by 132 per cent between then and last year.
To see James’ petition visit www.change.org/p/derbyshire-county-council-re-open-the-railway-line-between-matlock-bakewell-and-buxton-9ab91f37-cee9-4acc-ad01-912300e6a16e.