‘Whole of South Yorkshire’ urged to get behind Doncaster’s bid to become new HQ of Great British Railways

Politicians are urging the whole of South Yorkshire to get behind Doncaster’s bid to become the new railway capital of the UK.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 4th March 2022, 3:01 pm

The council, backed by a range of other public and private sector organisations, have submitted their bid for Doncaster to become the home and head office of Great British Railways.

GBR is a new public body which will run and plan the rail network. Its establishment was announced as part of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, published in May 2021.

The public body will own the rail infrastructure, procure passenger services and set most fares and timetables.

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Doncaster railway station. The town is hoping for the support of South Yorkshire in its bid to become the new headquarters for Great British Railways.

It will also receive a proportion of rail revenue to help fund its work and. It will take over responsibilities from Network Rail and some of the functions of the Department of Transport.

A shortlist will be determined by the GBR transition team in May.

A public vote will follow to ‘indicate support’ for each of the shortlisted bidders which ‘helps influence’ the winner.

Doncaster – which is said to already have all of the attributes for the bid – needs to have the following criteria for consideration:

The winning area needs to be outside of London, have a deep rail heritage, well connected, value for money and needs widespread public support.

As the birthplace of the Mallard and Flying Scotsman, Doncaster’s central position on the East Coast Main Line and its air, rail and road links, the town considers that it is ideally placed to host the headquarters of GBR, council bosses have said.

Doncaster is also arguing that basing the HQ in the town will bring benefits throughout South Yorkshire and to neighbouring areas.

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “We are up against stiff competition, but Doncaster more than meets all the criteria stipulated by the Government, but we need the whole of Doncaster and South Yorkshire to support us.

“Winning this bid will bring huge benefits to the town and I appeal to the people of Doncaster and South Yorkshire to help us prove that it has support from businesses and the public.”

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of South Yorkshire, said: “The government has pledged to ‘Level Up’ our communities and having the GBR HQ in Doncaster would be a massive shot in the arm for our economy, which would bring much needed jobs and investment.”