Meeting with Rail Minister on the Leamside Line

February 9, 2023

I recently met with Rail Minister Huw Merriman alongside cross-party Northeast MPs and Transport North East to discuss the reopening of the Leamside Line. The reopening of the route, between Pelaw and Tursdale in County Durham, would drastically improve connections in parts of our region cut off from rail travel and allow for a £745m extension of the Metro.

Through the reopening, there would be better transport access to South Tyneside, Washington and Sunderland, allowing our community to have increased opportunities for employment, education and leisure. In addition to this, it is predicted to generate over £90m per year in economic benefits to our region which we can directly reinvest back into our community.

The reopening of the line would also reinforce our regions green credentials, helping to reduce reliance on emission-producing car journeys. It would create nearly 8 million additional passenger journeys a year and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 87 tonnes a year – replacing 1.7 million car journeys.

I will endeavour to get further answers from the Rail Minister and the Government on the future reopening of the Leamside Line as part of my ongoing efforts to hold them accountable for the Levelling-Up agenda.

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