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Sheaf Valley Railway: MPs submit bid to reopen axed stations

Louise Haigh and Olivia Blake back reopening of Heeley and Millhouses stations as part of "just, green recovery" from Covid-19.

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The site of Millhouses station. Photo by Nigel Thompson (Wikimedia Commons).

Two Sheffield MPs have submitted a bid to reopen closed railway stations at Heeley and Millhouses as part of a proposed expansion of passenger services in the Sheaf Valley.

Louise Haigh and Olivia Blake have responded to a call from the Department for Transport, who have asked for suggestions of axed services that could be restored.

The Labour MPs also want to see a brand new station built at Totley Brook, as well as an expansion of the existing Dore and Totley station.

"After Covid-19, we need a just, green recovery," said Blake.

"Restoring rail services along the Sheaf Valley - to provide greener and more affordable access to transportation - will allow Sheffield to play its part in responding to the climate crisis and reducing air pollution, but also creating a fairer, greener economy."

The government's £500m Restoring Your Railway fund aims to reopen parts of the rail network that were lost during the infamous Beeching cuts of the 1960s.

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The former Heeley station. Photo by Nigel Thompson (Wikimedia Commons).

Both Heeley station, near the Sheaf View pub, and Millhouses station, near Millhouses Park, closed on the same day in June 1968.

These were among 2,363 stations recommended for closure in Richard Beeching's Conservative-commissioned report of 1963, which saw the railways as having been superseded by road travel.

The MPs argue that the reopening of these stations on the existing Sheaf Valley line would boost the local economy, improve connectivity with the city centre and reduce congestion on Chesterfield Road.

The move would also create direct connections to Manchester and Leeds for communities in south-west Sheffield.

"Reopening these stations will help to make us less dependent on cars, which will benefit us all," said Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh.

"Congestion will be eased, local air quality will be improved, and we'll be producing fewer greenhouses gases."

The government says an expert panel will consider the bids and announce an outcome by the end of the summer.

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