Boris Johnson backs station opening which could see Metro link to County Durham

The Prime Minister has backed calls for a new railway station in County Durham which could also be linked to the Tyne and Wear Metro.

Friday, 5th June 2020, 1:02 pm
How the new Metro carriages may look

Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, June 3, Boris Johnson said it was his ‘ambition’ to see a train line to Ferryhill reopened.

The issue was raised at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) by Paul Howell, who became Conservative MP for the former Sedgefield seat of ex Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2019.

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Speaking in Parliament, he said: “Does the Prime Minister agree that as we exit the pandemic, it is critical that we not only stimulate the UK economy, but also start the important process of levelling up?

“This should include stimulating the housing market to help excellent companies such as PWS at Newton Aycliffe, investing in rural broadband to help villages such as Killerby, and maybe moving the Treasury to Sedgefield, and also the acceleration of rolling stock investment to help companies such as Hitachi.

“May I also ask him to join me in opening the station at Ferryhill, which I am sure he will ask the Transport Secretary to approve?”

As well as Ferryhill, Metro bosses have previously drawn up proposals for extensions to Ashington, in Northumberland, and Doxford, in Sunderland.

North East leaders have also claimed the planned International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), currently the site of the NHS’s Nightingale Hospital North East, could be the ‘catalyst’ for the development of a “South Tyne and Wear Loop” taking in Washington.

It is hoped a new generation of Metro trains capable of running on existing industrial rail lines will make it easier to add new stops.

Responding to Howell, Johnson said: “My honourable Friend will know what we were doing, whether it is the 300,000 homes that we want to build every year, massive investment in gigabit broadband, or the huge investment in railways and roads, and I will make sure that I add to that an ambition to come and see Ferryhill station launched with him.”

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