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The project to reinstate the Peaks and Dales Line took a significant step forward yesterday, as the project team met with the Department for Transport to submit several sections of MEMRAP’s Better Value Rail (BVR) document.


The BVR process, the initial feasibility study will inform a major part of the Strategic Outline Business Case (SOBC) as the following stage of the approval process for the reinstatement.  Through the BVR activity the project team has now completed many of the fundamentals including the key strategic aims, benefits and potential risks associated with the project.


The Department for Transport (DfT) has already rated the project proposals as strong from an economic and social value perspective; the current submission builds on that positive feedback and expands the proposals further.


The Peak District National Park has an unsustainable transport problem with around 90% of its 13 million annual visitors arriving by car. MEMRAP believes the return of the railway and the development of sustainable integrated transport solutions at each station will provide the answer.


Work completed to date by MEMRAP (a wholly voluntary community organisation), together with selected rail business partners includes initial assessments of planning policies, environmental impacts and benefits and a range of safety, operational and engineering solutions for the line.


Martyn Guiver, Operations Director for MEMRAP said, “This is a significant day for the MEMRAP team, and for the communities the line will serve.  We continue to develop the detailed proposals and initial feasibility study, and we are extremely grateful to all of the team who have given their own time freely”.


Martyn went onto say, “With public support continuing to grow, and a commitment from the principal four East Midlands Mayoral candidates to fund the study for the reinstatement, we are well established, with a knowledgeable, competent and effective team working to develop the business case”.


Immediate plans include further engagement with key stakeholders and the newly appointed East Midlands Mayor after the election results are announced, together with the continued development of the business case all with the benefit of further support from DfT having been agreed.