'Light at the end of the tunnel' for rail services in Northumberland
There is now ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for rail services in the county, say politicians as plans for the Northumberland Line press ahead.
Senior Labour politicians in the region are now welcoming the likelihood of the rail line going ahead, which would mean journeys between Ashington and Newcastle of just over half-an-hour.
Ian Lavery, the MP for Wansbeck, said: “For more than a decade, alongside my Labour colleagues, I have fought and campaigned to bring back rail services to south-east Northumberland.
“I believe that we are finally close to seeing that dream realised and welcome this news from the Government and I am hopeful for a further announcement accepting our campaign mission, to fully deliver the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Line project including all the stations promised.”
Jamie Driscoll, the North of Tyne Mayor, added: “We have been campaigning for a long time to get this railway line re-opened and it is going to be brilliant when it is.
“It will integrate with the Tyne and Wear Metro and that means new opportunities for people to get to work, new jobs and more opportunities for people to get to college and further education and it’s going to be better for the environment.”
However, Conservative Jack Gebhard, who stood against Mr Lavery at the General Election in December, said: “While it’s great to see the Mayor backing the Conservative Government’s project, I can’t help but feel he’s being a bit disingenuous. He described the project as a joke during the General Election and said it would never happen.
“A lot of people are still struggling to believe it will happen because Labour have been talking about the rail line for decades with no action but, thankfully, we’ve now got a Government that is delivering on this and lots of other major infrastructure projects for the north of England.
“I made bringing passenger rail services back to south-east Northumberland central to my own campaign during the General Election and I’m glad that, despite missing out by 800 votes, the Conservatives are going ahead, bringing back the Northumberland to Newcastle rail line and delivering for our area.”