Consultation on future train service at several stations

Sir Alan Beith MP
Sir Alan Beith MP

The Government has launched a consultation on the future specification for the services now run by Northern Rail, which include the only trains to call at several north Northumberland stations.

The company runs the only trains to stop at Widdrington, Acklington and Chathill and most of the trains stopping at Morpeth.

The Chathill trains also call at Alnmouth, but East Coast and CrossCountry trains are not affected by this consultation.

MP Sir Alan Beith has urged rail users to make their views known before the consultation ends, on August 18.

“Although station closures are not suggested or considered in this consultation, any reduction of the present twice-a-day commuter service from Chathill, Widdrington and Acklington would be virtual closure, and what we need is improvement in that service,” he said.

“The consultation asks whether service reduction on little-used services could be used to help fund better trains. I believe the Chathill and Widdrington service would be better used if it was a better service, and if it picked up passengers at Belford, where plans already exist to open a platform.

“The consultation also covers the Transpennine services and other services from Newcastle which many people use to get to the north-west of England, and it is important that their views are heard.”

The consultation document is available online.

Meanwhile, members of the North East Combined Authority were discussing the potential benefits that a high-speed rail network could bring to the North East at their meeting earlier this week.