Extra train services being sought

A bid is being made for more frequent train services at stations up and down Northumberland.

Monday, 8th March 2021, 5:52 pm
Updated Monday, 8th March 2021, 5:56 pm
The crossing at Widdrington railway station.

At the same time as progress is being made on the reintroduction of passenger services between the south-east of the county and Newcastle, work has been taking place to seek improvements to East Coast Main Line services – including at Pegswood, Widdrington and Acklington.

Conservative MPs Anne Marie Trevelyan, who represents the Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency, and Ian Levy (Blyth Valley) have joined with Northumberland County Council to sponsor a submission to the Government’s Restoring Your Railways fund, with the hope of more frequent stopping services between Newcastle and Berwick.

The request would see 100mph electric trains stopping at least hourly at stations including Cramlington, Morpeth, Widdrington, Acklington, Chathill, Alnmouth and Berwick, giving many communities a hugely improved service.

The plans have been discussed at length with Department for Transport officials since March 2020, with more details being submitted this week.

Mrs Trevelyan said: “Many of the stations in the Berwick-upon-Tweed constituency suffer from having far too few trains. Getting more services into these stations will be a great boost to our local economy and open up employment and educational opportunities.

“It will also allow people to access key services in towns up and down Northumberland – including the NHS services in Cramlington, which is a particular issue for many residents in the north of the county.”

Pegswood ward councillor David Towns said: “I was delighted to support this year’s council budget, which includes funds to develop this project.

“Pegswood is on the East Coast Mainline, but in reality few trains stop and local residents get little benefit.

“To help the Government understand how keen we are to see this happen, I have set up a petition with my fellow Conservative councillors so people can show their support for this. It can be accessed at: http://chng.it/CGZYC4QYQV