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Lutterworth Line An introduction

Connecting Northampton...

...Rugby...

...Lutterworth...

...and Leicester

By rail

The population of Lutterworth is set to increase from 10,000 to about 17,000 by 2040 if the approved sustainable urban extension to the east of the M1 is fully built out as planned.

There is a planning proposal to build a huge new warehousing and rail freight interchange at Hinckley to provide 850,000 m² of road and rail served warehousing. This is in addition to the currently approved expansion of Magna Park which will see its size roughly double to 1.5 million m² of warehousing.

Transport is now the largest greenhouse gas emitting sector of activity in the country, with there being little reduction in emissions from it over the last decade when compared to the improvements made by other sectors.

Are there ways we can make transport in our area more sustainable and accessible for everyone, and also reduce the huge numbers of HGVs on local roads? We have an idea that could be great for everyone, including the environment, and we would like to get your thoughts on it.

Leicester, East Midlands

The concept is simple, to reconnect Rugby and Leicester directly by rail, including a station at Lutterworth, and connect Magna Park directly to the rail network. This connection was lost during the 1960s, part of the Beeching era cuts.

Restoring this link would drastically improve local public transport options, and instead of building a new collection of huge sheds at Hinckley, take a railway line to the existing huge sheds at Magna park, reducing the number of HGVs that site spits out onto local roads.

A possible new passenger route

There is an existing passenger service that could be extended, which would provide direct, fast services between Northampton, Rugby, Lutterworth, Leicester, Loughborough, and Nottingham.

• Lutterworth to Leicester would be less than 20 minutes by train.

Lutterworth to Rugby would be less than 10 minutes.

Proposed new service estimated journey times

Could that tempt you to catch the train instead of driving? We must stress this is purely an outline concept at this point in time. We have identified a possible route that would minimise the environmental and social impact of the concept.

Great Central Main Line

Between Lutterworth and Narborough there is the old ‘Great Central’ railway alignment that is virtually along the hard shoulder of the M1 for 8 miles. Locating a railway immediately next to the motorway would minimise the incremental harm to the environment. The M1 has 90,000 vehicles a day through this section. This old route enters Rugby through a largely residential area, so we looked for another way into Rugby. Further West alongside a mostly industrial area is a section of the old ‘Midland Counties’ line that can get to Rugby station with much lower social impact.

To connect these two historic sections of route together a new section would be needed. This could be located close and parallel to the A426 (which has 12,000 vehicles a day along it). The diagram to the right shows one possible way in which these connections could be made.

To connect Magna Park would need a final short piece of line close by the A5. (which has 17,000 vehicles / day on it)

The Magna Park industrial estate, next to the town of Lutterworth.

The historic station site in Lutterworth now has homes and light industry on it, so a new station would have to be located elsewhere. There appears to be a suitable space available nearby for a small station that would still be close to the heart of Lutterworth, making most homes in Lutterworth no more than 15 minutes’ walk from both the centre of Lutterworth and the station. There is potential for a further local station, south of Leicester at Cosby, and the same service could call at the proposed ‘Rugby Parkway’ station if / when that local station was built.

Proposed route in satelite view

We would be really interested to know your thoughts about this concept, if you think it could be a way to improve the sustainability of transport in the local area, and reduce the impact felt by HGVs on the local roads.