In a letter to Michael Fabricant in response to his contacting Lafarge
Aggregates, Robert Whetstone their Managing Director has offered their
practical support to the re-opening of the Lichfield Trent Valley to
Wychnor line to passenger traffic and the re-establishment of a halt at
Alrewas which will serve the village and visitors to the National
Memorial Arboretum. They are also considering financial support for a
rail transport feasibility study to be undertaken.
In his letter to Michael Fabricant, Robert Whetstone – Managing
Director, Lafarge Aggregates – says:-
"We would like to lend our support to the principle of a new railway
station at Alrewas. Indeed, we have actively promoted the idea since the
mid-1990s including ensuring that it has been incorporated into the
Central Rivers Project and adopted by Staffordshire County Council and
Lichfield District Council into supplementary planning policy. We feel
it would be a welcome addition to this corner of The National Forest
which we have also supported over the years.
"The land which has the most potential for a new station is already
allocated in the Staffordshire County Council plan for minerals
extraction and I am sure you will recognise that this provides us with
an excellent opportunity to work this land to tailor the restoration to
ensure that it is well-suited to the establishment of a station.
Furthermore, we believe that the land offers scope for projects of
varying scales, from a simple platform to a fully functional station and
associated facilities which the increasing visitor number of the
National Memorial Arboretum may warrant.
"Given our enthusiasm for this project we are willing to consider a
financial contribution for a feasibility study to be undertaken and are,
in fact, awaiting a detailed breakdown from Network Rail outlining what
such a study may entail. We would also be prepared to enter negotiations
to identify the best possible arrangements for future ownership and
management of the land."
Michael Fabricant comments: "This is a very constructive development
which I heartily welcome. I will be working closely with the Arboretum,
the Department of Transport, and Network Rail to move this matter on
further. With 200,000 visitors to the Arboretum expected in the next 12
months, rising in 5 years time to half a million visitors a year, an
alternative means of transport to the overused A38 trunk road simply
must be found.
"Lafarge’s commitment to supporting the National Memorial Arboretum is
to be applauded. I know that Lafarge are proud of what they are doing at
Alrewas, from the extraction and production of building materials to
restoring the site and developing a long-term partnership with the
National Memorial Arboretum which has developed immensely over the
years. I look forward to working closely with Lafarge Aggregates and
the NMA on the revival of the Lichfield-Wychnor line."