Washington MP brings Leamside rail line reopening petition to Parliament

Sharon Hodgson MP has presented a petition calling on the Government to reopen Leamside rail line to Parliament.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 10:09 am
Sharon Hodgson inspects the abandoned Leamside Line

Sharon Hodgson MP has presented a petition to Parliament on Wednesday evening (March 3), calling on the Government to re-open the Leamside rail line as part of the upcoming Integrated Rail Plan.

The online petition ran by Mrs. Hodgson received over 1,800 signatures across three weeks in support of the full re-opening of the line.

Leamside line, which runs from Pelaw to Ferryhill, through Washington and Penshaw hasn’t been used since 1991.

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Reopening the Leamside line would see the spectacular Victoria Viaduct coming out of mothballs

Transport campaigners believe restoring it – and potentially linking Sunderland, Washington and Durham by rail and extending the Metro network – “could trigger a wave of economic benefits across the North East” and ease pressure on the nearby London-Scotland East Coast Main Line.

The petition has been presented to Parliament this week to accompany a bid for the Restoring Your Railways fund, that is co-led by Sharon Hodgson MP and Paul Howell MP.

Mrs Hodgson said: "I am delighted to present this petition to Parliament, to demonstrate the overwhelming support the campaign to re-open the mothballed Leamside line has received.

“While ensuring that Washington, one of the largest towns in the UK without a rail link, finally sees the return of rail after 53 years, the re-opening of this line would have economic and connectivity benefits for the whole region.

“I am excited to hear the Department for Transport's response."

The Restoring Your Railways bid will be submitted on Friday, March 5.

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