DONCASTER SHEFFIELD Airport plans to compete with major rivals such as Manchester airport by opening a train station that will speed up its links with the South-East.
The airport hopes the Government will support its plans for a new railway station, which would mean that travellers from London King’s Cross could arrive at the airport in about 90 minutes.
The airport’s bosses say the planned station would ease congestion on cross-London rail routes by encouraging more people to fly from the relatively quiet airspace above Doncaster Sheffield.
A report about the airport’s future – The Vision for Transformational Growth – says: “Government support for these proposals would demonstrate a strategic and better balanced approach to the provision of future air capacity for the long term.”
The airport, which is owned by Peel Group, said that initial estimates suggested it could cost between £100m and £150m to re-align the nearby East Coast main line and create a station by the airport.
It plans to develop the scheme in partnership with the public sector.
The airport is calling on the Government to recognise the role Doncaster Sheffield can play in helping to boost the UK’s air capacity in the forthcoming Aviation National Policy Statement.
It also wants the Government to include the re-alignment of the East Coast main line, and the provision of a new railway station at the airport, in the National Infrastructure Delivery Plan.
Steve Gill, the chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “Our aim is to respond to future travel demands by providing a global reach for leisure, business and freight customers.”
The latest boost for improving transport links across region comes just days after The Yorkshire Post revealed landmark plans to build a new station serving Leeds Bradford Airport as part of a £270m investment in transport infrastructure proposed by city leaders.
The proposed upgrades by Leeds City Council also include new railway stations to be built at the city’s White Rose Shopping Centre and Thorpe Park areas.
The ambitious proposals come after Leeds’s Next Generation Transport (NGT) trolleybus scheme – allocated £173.5m Government funding to be spent by 2021 – was abandoned after being rejected by the Department for Transport in May.
The money from the failed trolleybus scheme will now be used by council transport chiefs partly to fund the latest improvements.
Meanwhile, a key summit at Leeds Town Hall has been told a tram train system is the best option for Leeds’s transport future if the city is to become a global economic player.
Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, who has championed the light rail option for the city, said the challenge was to show that “Leeds needs light rail” and that it is the best mass transit option for the city.