New Ashington railway station plans approved for Northumberland Line

By James Harrison

The proposed Northumberland Line rail service has taken a step closer to becoming reality after plans for a new station in Ashington were approved.

The route, previously known as the Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Line, has not run a passenger service since 1964.

And one of the six new stops along the transport link has been given the green light after development chiefs at Northumberland County Council approved the build at the town’s Wansbeck Square.

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“It’s the right place, it’s essential, we think many people will travel out of the area and use this line for work within the line,” county councillor Alex Wallace told the local authority’s Strategic Planning Committee.

“When you see what’s happening in the Cambois area now and what’s going to happen in the next five - ten years it’s phenomenal and this railway will be so important for the economic benefits in south east Northumberland.”

He added: “It’s taken a long time to see this come to fruition, but I’m pleased it is.”

The new single-platform station is due to be set over 1.89 hectares in Ashington town centre, between the War Memorial Garden and Ashington Cricket Club.

The existing car park on the site is in line to be overhauled and extended east as far as Kenilworth Road and south on to vacant land which formerly housed a care home.

As well as Ashington, a further five stations are set to be created on the rail route, at Bedlington Station, Blyth Bebside, Newsham, and Seaton Delaval, as well as new platforms at the Tyne and Wear Metro’s Northumberland Park stop.

Trains are expected to start running on the line by December 2023 and once operational are expected to provide a service to Newcastle every half an hour, with journeys taking about 35 minutes.

The scheme has been largely welcomed in Northumberland, although some had criticisms of the plans for Ashington.

County councillor Caroline Ball said: “I’m really disappointed with the design [of the station], this is supposed to be the welcome to Ashington and I’m not quite sure where the money’s been spent.

“Especially when they’re proposing to put 270 parking spaces there, but there’s barely any shelter - so where are these people, when they’re waiting for the trains, going to be standing?”

She added: “We talk about regeneration and levelling up, look at the money that was spent on Morpeth Railway Station, but this is good enough for Ashington.”

Despite her concerns however, which were shared by panel chairman Trevor Thorne, Coun Ball joined the rest of the committee in voting to approve the application.

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