Proposals for new or re-opened railway stations in two Doncaster villages have been outlined to transport ministers.

Proposals for new or re-opened railway stations in two Doncaster villages have been outlined to transport ministers.

Thursday, 14th December 2017, 7:01 am
Updated Thursday, 14th December 2017, 7:10 am
An artists impression of how a re-opened Askern Station may look

Details of how officials from the Sheffield City Region would like to see stations operating at Finningley, near Doncaster Sheffield Airport, and Askern, have been outlined in official consultation documents.

It follows meetings which have left campaigners encouraged that new stations could be forthcoming.

Graham Moss, chairman of the campaign group Friends of Askern Railway Station, met with officials at a Department of Transport during the consultation - and says he was encouraged by the talks.

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He attended the Department for Transport's East Midlands Franchise Consultation at Sheffield Hall, along with Doncaster Coun Austin White.

His optimism comes at a time when the Sheffield City Region and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive has included services to both Askern and Doncaster Sheffield Airport in its own list of requirements for the re-tendering of the East Midlands rail franchise..

Mr Moss said: "They appeared to be interested in the in bringing Askern station back, and, with the airport too, I think it is just the sort of thing they are looking for - I'm now quite upbeat about it."

He believes the department is also interested in possible links to Doncaster Sheffield Airport on the same line.

Campaigners want to see Askern included on the existing Lincoln to Doncaster service, with the line then continuing on to Leeds.

Mayor of Askern Francis Jackson added: "We think the cost of re-opening Askern station would be around £1m, but that is not a lot of money for a rail project."

The re-opening of the station has been included in recommendations from the Sheffield City Region and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

Their joint joint response to the Department for Transport Consultation on the re-tendering of the East Midlands Rail Franchise calls for an hourly service to be introduced on the Lincoln to Doncaster line.

They state: "This could serve a potential new station at Finningley, which would serve the fast growing Doncaster Sheffield Airport as well as a number of local attractions such as the Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

"This improved service could potentially be extended to Leeds via the Knottingley line, which currently doesn’t have any stopping passenger trains.

"There is a call for a new (or re-opened) station on this line at Askern, a town of 6,000 people north of Doncaster that needs better transport connections to help regenerate it, as well as serving its wider satellite villages.

"This service would provide a competitive direct link between Lincoln and Leeds, meeting growing demand for a better connection between these two cities and with Doncaster, as well as better linking Lincoln to the East Coast Mainline northwards and to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

The response also made mention of the plans to move the East Coast line to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

It stated: "Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) is our regional airport and is growing fast in terms of passenger numbers, as well as for freight. The airport owners Peel Group, along with Doncaster MBC and SCRCA (Sheffield City Region Combined Authority), are keen to improve rail links to the airport. We have aspirations for a new station on the Lincoln-Doncaster line at Finningley (for DSA), which would benefit from an improved service on that line. A study is also currently being undertaken into a proposal for a new station on the East Coast Mainline to serve the airport, which would extend its catchment area considerably."

A report is expected from the Department of Transport in the New Year.