Calls for rail link to Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport

Robin Hood airport
Robin Hood airport

Business and transport bosses are calling for a rail link to be built to Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport.

Members of the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce’s Transport Forum said a new railway station should be built at the airport, with links to Doncaster Central railway station and Sheffield station.

They outlined the potential scheme as part of an open consultation around the future of Northern and TransPennine Express rail franchises, which are due for renewal in February 2016.

The Forum has vowed to lobby both franchises in a bid to force them to look at pushing ahead with a proposed railway redevelopment.

Peter Kennan, vice-chair of the Transport Forum and partner at Chartered Accountants Hawsons, said: “There is also a requirement to focus on Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport which is this region’s gateway to international destinations.

“The airport is not currently well-served and its future development must require rail connection with a specific train service.

“We strongly recommend this is included in the Northern Rail obligations when airport passenger numbers reach a certain trigger point. A Doncaster to Robin Hood Airport service could also be justified, especially if it is served by a park and ride location at the airport.”

The Doncaster element is one of a number of key proposals the forum would like to see in the coming years.

Others include improving links to Manchester Airport, a regular cross Sheffield link from Dore to Meadowhall, improvement to Sheffield to Leeds rail connections and better access to Manchester from Sheffield.

Mr Kennan added: “The new IKEA development at Meadowhall will drive further rail demand to this part of the city. There is already a major problem with the road network in the area and so this should be factored in to service levels provided by Northern Rail.

“Road congestion is acute in Sheffield which suffers from a legacy of decades of under investment in infrastructure. This is likely to drive continued increases in demand for rail services.

“Therefore, once current works are completed at Dore station, we would like to see certain Northern Rail services starting there, something that may be made possible by upgrades that are already planned.

“This would enable a cross city service from Dore via Sheffield to Meadowhall to be offered on trains heading to Barnsley, Leeds, Doncaster and beyond.”