Councillor calls for new Grantham rail stopping point at Poplar Farm

South Kesteven District Councillor Jeff Thompson.
South Kesteven District Councillor Jeff Thompson.
7
Have your say

A district councillor is calling for a future stopping point for rail passengers at Poplar Farm to allow people living in the yet-to-be-built new homes the chance to commute to cities including London.

Great Gonerby councillor Jeff Thompson, an independent, has written to South Kesteven District Council outlining his suggestion.

He says: “I don’t care how much employment provision is forthcoming, the fact remains that many occupiers of new properties at Poplar Farm, as well as existing ones at Gonerby Hill Foot, will commute to London or one of the aforementioned destinations (e.g. Nottingham, Sheffield, Derby, Manchester, Liverpool).

“I remain, therefore, of the strong opinion that we must allow for the provision, possibly at some future juncture, of a facility to allow passengers to board a train at Poplar Farm; it makes absolutely no sense that they get into their cars to travel to Grantham station in order to do precisely that – and believe me they certainly will.

“The way I see it, we are not speaking of a station here, simply a warm and pleasant waiting room with some cycle and car parking. I know that this is possible as I well remember loading potatoes bound for the Rhine Army onto rail trucks at a siding in precisely that location.”

It is clear from Coun Thompson’s letter that he has raised the idea in the past but fears he has “not been taken too seriously”.

Here is Coun Thompson’s letter in full:

The article in The Sunday Times really does emphasise the importance of allowing for the future provision of a rail passenger facility to be incorporated in the development plans at Poplar Farm.

Karen is aware that I have been beating the drum about this for a considerable length of time, yet I sometimes believe that as a lifelong rail supporter and enthusiast, I have not been taken too seriously!

This site is blessed with the close proximity of a railway which terminates at Grantham to the south, and on to Nottingham, Sheffield, Derby, Manchester, Liverpool and many other difficult to access cross-country destinations; it also passes the ever growing Vantage Park and Downtown at Gonerby Moor on its way to Sleaford, Boston and Skegness to the east and west.

So important is this line considered to be, that LCC and others have invested considerable funding into what it calls the “Poacher Line”; not least of all a whole new section of “anti - Beeching” track known as the Allington Chord opened in 2005 to allow this coastal traffic to access Grantham without having to use the short stretch of the East Coast Main Line from Barkston to Grantham.

I don’t care how much employment provision is forthcoming, the fact remains that many occupiers of new properties at Poplar Farm, as well as existing ones at Gonerby Hill Foot, will commute to London or one of the aforementioned destinations.

I remain, therefore, of the strong opinion that we must allow for the provision, possibly at some future juncture, of a facility to allow passengers to board a train at Poplar Farm; it makes absolutely no sense that they get into their cars to travel to Grantham station in order to do precisely that – and believe me they certainly will.

The way I see it, we are not speaking of a station here, simply a warm and pleasant waiting room with some cycle and car parking. I know that this is possible as I well remember loading potatoes bound for the Rhine Army onto rail trucks at a siding in precisely that location.

I do assure you that I am very serious about this as once the area becomes shrouded in tarmac, concrete and brickwork this unique opportunity will be lost forever.

Coun Jeff Thompson

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF COUN THOMPSON’S PROPOSAL? E-MAIL: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk