Boris Johnson Supports Ferryhill Train Station Reopening

The Prime Minister has offered encouragement to plans to re-open the County Durham station.  Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said he would make it his "ambition" to attend the official station re-opening.

The Ferryhill railway station in County Durham would create a link between Consett and Newcastle and Gateshead

The Sedgefield MP Mr Howell is leading calls to re-open the station, a few miles south of Durham, which was closed during the Beeching Cuts of the 1960s.

The MP said in the letter: "The re-opening of Ferryhill station in the heart of my constituency of Sedgefield would be a comparatively low-cost project which will open up the north's railways system to many who need it.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Howell said: "As we exit the pandemic, it is critical that we not only stimulate the UK economy, but start the important process of levelling up."

He added: "Can I also ask him to join me in opening the station at Ferryhill that I'm sure he's going to ask the Transport Secretary to approve?"

Mr Johnson told him: "Whether it's 300,00 homes that we want to build every year, massive investment in gigabit broadband, huge investment in railways and roads, I will make sure that I add to that an ambition to come and see Ferryhill station launched with him."

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This news comes hot of the heels of the news that the the first passenger train in more than half a century has pulled into the coastal pit village of Horden, in County Durham, which has not had a regular rail service since it was axed as a stop in 1964 under the infamous Beeching review.

Now, if the new £10.5m station proves to be a success, it is hoped it could signal the start of more such re-openings across the north.

“This new facility will open up significant opportunities for communities across east Durham, by providing a direct transport link to Teesside, Wearside and Tyneside,” said Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council. “And, of course, it will also make it easier for people from outside the area to travel to the east of the county, whether for business or pleasure.

“It is going to provide a major economic boost to the county and I’m sure residents and businesses will be keen to take advantage.”

It is hoped some 70,000 passengers a year will use the facility, which will see an hourly Northern train connect the area to Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Sunderland.

One of the first customers waiting to board the first 7.31am on Monday was Frank Steel.

He told Newcastle’s Chronicle: “It’s fantastic, we’ve been waiting for it for a long time now. Obviously, there’ll be an improvement to Horden itself because it will bring more people in and might help house prices.”

The station has been a joint project between Durham County Council, Network Rail, Northern and Story Contracting. It was joint funded by the

council and central government.

Grant Shapps, transport secretary, has previously said the government is committed to “reversing Beeching” — which shut some 2,300 stations and about 5,000 miles of track — as part of its election promises to both make the UK greener and level up the north. It has promised £500m to make such reversals a reality.

Mr Schapps said: “Many communities still live with the scars that came from the closure of their local railway more than five decades ago.

“Investing in transport links is essential to levelling up access to opportunities across the country, ensuring our regions are better connected, local economies flourish and more than half a century of isolation is

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Updated Oct 2021 -