MP welcomes rail investment

PLANS for multi-million investment in North East railways have been welcomed.

The Government has announced that £240million will be invested in the East Coast Main Line as part of a £9billion national programme for the railways.

The funding will provide improvements along the length of the line, enabling longer Intercity Express trains to provide more capacity and shorter journey times.

The rail industry will carry out work to assess the scope of improvements required and the likely start and completion dates for schemes. Plans will be published in January.

Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith said the initiative will strengthen Northumberland’s ability to attract business.

“These are improvements we have been pressing for and I am delighted they are included in the programme,” he said.

“Good rail connections are one of Northumberland’s major plus points in attracting businesses to our area and improvements will strengthen that.”

However, he said the Government should also turn its attention to road upgrades, such as the dualling of the A1 north of Morpeth.

He said: “Rail services and facilities at our stations are vital, but we also need the Government to invest in road improvements to the A1 in the county, starting with the Mousen Bends and the Morpeth to Felton stretches.”