The bid to connect Doncaster Sheffield Airport with the East Coast Mainline has taken a step closer today with the commissioning of a feasibility study into the link.
A study has been set up and backed by Doncaster Council, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and Doncaster Sheffield Airport to provide a station to one of the main arterial routes between the north and London.
It will endeavour to make the strategic business case for a potential rail link and will be awarded through a competitive bidding process. The study is hoped to be completed by the end of the year.
The airport has also unveiled early design concepts for the station which could serve the next major international airport for the UK in the North.
The airport says a station just off the East Coast Mainline could be a major economic boost for Yorkshire and the Sheffield City Region and have a transformational effect beyond the airport site as a catalyst for encouraging investment, new jobs and supporting the growing innovation district at the airport’s 1,600 acre site, known as Aero Centre Yorkshire.
The station could also serve local communities and businesses in the vicinity such as the Yorkshire Wildlife Park and other forthcoming new leisure attractions such as the European Tour backed golf course at Rossington.
Ros Jones, mayor of Doncaster said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport is a huge asset for Doncaster, the Sheffield City Region, Yorkshire and the North and we are committed to making it a big success.
“The opening of Great Yorkshire Way created exceptional links between the airport and the motorway network and has helped them achieve incredible growth. This shows if you have a forward thinking vision to deliver important infrastructure projects they can have a real economic impact.
“We are ambitious for the future and our concept to provide an East Coast Mainline station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport could certainly release its immense untapped potential and bring significant benefits to Doncaster and the wider region.”
Steve Gill, chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport is one of few regional airport sites in the UK which offers unconstrained physical and airspace capacity with the existing runway able to accommodate a throughput of 25 million passengers per annum, providing an international gateway serving the east side of the country.
“An airport station could mean London is less than 80 minutes train travel away, and in many places quicker than travelling across to Heathrow or Gatwick on already congested routes.
“The proposal could also support boosting international trade, deliver improved regional connectivity and contribute towards government strategy to rebalance the economy.”
“The proposal for the airport station shows how a quicker, more affordable and sustainable solution in the North can deliver much needed future UK aviation capacity for passengers and cargo, complementing planned investment in South East airports.”
“These aspirational designs we’ve released aim to show the scale of our ambition for the station and we hope they inspire people to get behind this proposal”
Sir Nigel Knowles, chair of Sheffield City Region LEP, said: “The success of Aero Centre Yorkshire is a key part of our strategic plan to build a truly competitive centre of business excellence in Sheffield City Region. The airport’s new link road illustrates our simple and straightforward approach to doing business. In Sheffield City Region we just get things done and we look forward to working in partnership to deliver a new rail connection and station providing a connection from the airport to the East Coast Mainline. Through pulling together to achieve transformational change we are building a thriving, super-connected and successful economy.