Construction setbacks at Northumberland Line stations in Blyth and Bedlington

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The completion date of the Northumberland Line project could be pushed back due to delays with construction of Bedlington and Blyth Bebside stations.

Northumberland County Council leader Glen Sanderson said he expects the project will be completed next year but confirmed there have been setbacks, and added that it is “too early” to say exactly when.

The Conservative councillor’s comments come just ten days after the council confirmed the project would still finish in summer 2024.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He said: “It is true to say that there have been some delays with some of the key partners, but we are certainly hoping that we can have the line running by this time next year.

Network Rail working on the Northumberland Line in Bedlington. (Photo by LDRS)Network Rail working on the Northumberland Line in Bedlington. (Photo by LDRS)
Network Rail working on the Northumberland Line in Bedlington. (Photo by LDRS)

"We might not get all the stations done by then given how complicated the signalling and all the other engineering work is.

“We have had engineering issues with our key partners, which is to be expected.

“There have also been issues like ground subsidence and inflation. It is very much our intention to have the majority of the line running by next year.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“To be honest, it is out of our hands. We have waited 70 years to get this line running, another few months is nothing. If all the stations are not finished, then they will be very quickly.”

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery described the delay as a “kick in the teeth,” however.

He said: “Not content with reducing the ambition and scope of the scheme, as we saw with the failure to include stations at Woodhorn and Seghill, we now have someone somewhere deciding some stations are less important than others.

"This line should be opened in full as soon as possible and the resources should be provided by the government to deal with any slippage.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Under the Conservatives stations at Woodhorn and Seghill, part of the Labour administration’s plans in 2013, were dropped from plans in 2019.

It now involves stations at Ashington, Bedlington, Bebside, Newsham, Seaton Delaval, and Northumberland Park, with services to Newcastle every 30 minutes.

Cllr Alex Wallace, who represents Sleekburn ward, said: “This is a disaster for people living in Bedlington, who will not only see significant disruption with the crossing gates closing on a half hourly basis but will be unable to access the train service.

“Once again people in Bedlington are made to feel like second class citizens with the station they have been promised designated as not as important as those elsewhere.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Cllr Anna Watson, who represents Isabella ward in Blyth, added: “The failure to open Bebside station will be a huge issue in Blyth. With two stations due to serve the town and both out of the centre, there have already been concerns raised about the impact on the already diabolical congestion we face.

“But a failure to open one at the North end of Blyth at Bebside will lead to more people using rat routes across the town and lead to huge issues with parking at Newsham.”

Cllr Sanderson said: “It is a bit harsh of Labour to try and say there is some sort of failure here.

“A Conservative government and a Conservative county council have got this project to this point and it is going to be magnificent.

"If there is a month or two delay, that is better than waiting decades under Labour.”