Since I was first-elected in 2010 I have campaigned for our community to have better transport. Good transport is what brings people together and helps our community to thrive.
I’ve long campaigned for the reopening of the Leamside Line in full, with a station at Fencehouses – a project which would finally bring modern rail to our area after decades of no access to rail services.
I have been continuing to press government ministers on the need for progress through parliamentary questions to the Department for Transport.
Unfortunately, they have not ruled out the ‘Leamside South’ option – a much inferior proposal that would not have any capacity for local passenger trains on the south end of the line meaning that our community would again miss out on direct access to rail services. The ‘Leamside South’ option would not bring the same long-term benefits for local businesses and jobs, and there are unanswered questions about the environmental impact and value for money.
Whilst our Leamside bid was rejected in the first round, I am glad that our bid is currently in the third round of consideration for the Restoring Your Railways Fund. I hope Ministers will recognise the strong economic case for the Leamside Line, and the wide support for such a project.
Our community has so much potential, and I won’t stop fighting until we have the public transport network we deserve.