The new Northumberland Line has been trialled as part of the Cobalt Business Park Ride in Mobility week, where Northern showcased a train traversing the route that will see five of the six proposed new stations built. This North Tyneside showcase afforded businesses leaders the opportunity to experience the future commuter travel option that will boost economic growth in the wider region.
The Northumberland Line is currently only partially used as it sees freight trains traverse the route, leaving massive opportunity to maximise growth through passenger travel that will also boost sustainability and decarbonisation of the area, as it will remove chunks of vehicular road usage. The scheme will improve access from towns such as Ashington, Bedlington and Blyth to employment hubs like Newcastle, as well as opening-up new opportunities for leisure, education and travel.
Improving the transport links will also encourage potential employers and investors to relocate their businesses in local areas, generating a gentrified community that can expand potential regional prosperity.
This project to expand passenger rail travel has been led by Northumberland County Council and funded through the Government’s Restoring Your Railway Fund, accompanied by £34m provided by the Department for Transport for detailed designs and preparatory works.
Kerry Peters, regional director at Northern, said:
“We are proud to be a part of this scheme, bringing new rail services to the North East as part of the Northumberland Line will help boost the economy in the region as well as connect communities based along the route.”
The new line is expected to be fully operational by 2024, with Northern developing plans for a future timetable that will outline the passage of the new passenger service between the new stations. The new Line plans will also integrate an upgrade of an existing 18-mile stretch that will enhance connectivity between communities.
David Darlington, Accenture Sustainability Lead in the North East, said:
“At Accenture we want to play an active role in supporting the local community in the North East and the new Northumberland Line is an example of our commitment to the region. The opening of the Northumberland Line will be vital as the railway infrastructure will drive growth and prosperity through connecting local people and businesses across the North East with a customer railway line, providing access to travel within and outside major hubs including Newcastle.”
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