Northumberland Line plans on track as consultation on Palmersville crossing begins

Work is continuing at pace on the Northumberland Line rail scheme.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 10:29 am

It is hoped to reintroduce regular passenger trains between Ashington and Newcastle by 2024 - boosting education, employment and housing prospects for the region.

The planning applications required to deliver the re-opening of passenger rail services on the Northumberland Line remain on track.

The application for Chase Meadows footbridge in Ashington was the first of the Northumberland Line applications to be granted planning permission.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps visits the Newsham South rail crossing with Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy (right)

Northumberland County Council is working with the Department for Transport, Network Rail and Northern Trains Ltd on the ambitious programme.

The county council has submitted planning applications for new stations at Ashington, Bedlington, Blyth Bebside, Northumberland Park and Seaton Delaval with decisions expected in the coming months.

In other developments the council is engaging with residents over the hospital level crossing in Ashington and public consultation started on July 12 around the Palmersville Dairy crossing in North Tyneside.

People can take part in the Palmersville consultation via nland.uk/palmersvilledairy

In May, the County Council also submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application to the Secretary of State which, is used for authorising new rail or tram schemes.

Council leader Glen Sanderson said: “Once completed, the new railway will connect communities and businesses along the route and beyond, creating new opportunities for jobs, housing, education and economic growth.

“There are many elements to be agreed, designed and built along the way and throughout the project we’ve been working with residents and other stakeholders to keep them updated and involved wherever we can.”

Earlier this year the Department for Transport provided £34m towards reintroducing a regular rail passenger service between Ashington and central Newcastle, with several stops in between.

Construction on stations is set to begin in summer 2022, subject to necessary approvals being secured.

The existing freight-only line last carried passengers in 1964.

The project will also upgrade 18 miles of track, create three new footbridges and new signal locations. The whole scheme is projected to deliver economic benefits of up to £470m.

More details on the scheme and the consultation can be found at www.northumberland.gov.uk/line

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