New Cramlington railway station could boost local economy

A brand-new railway station for Cramlington would boost the local economy and could see more trains stopping in the town.

Northumberland County Council is to look into the opportunities that could come from moving the current station -  although it would require a full business case before any move could be finalised.

This week the County Council is to meet with a range of stakeholders at Cramlington Station to see for themselves how moving it to a more central location in the town could help unlock further investment in the area.

The existing station is currently in the lowest categorisation on the National Network -  based on a combination of footfall and income from ticket sales.

Although located on the East Coast Main Line it is only used by Northern rail services and offers a limited number of journeys. Only 1% of Cramlington commuters travel by train which is lower than the county average and way below the average 7.4% for England.

And in 2014/15 there were just  89,070 users, which compares poorly with 316,068 at Morpeth which is a smaller urban area but has the benefit of access to Virgin East Coast and Cross Country services.

The new station would be approximately 300m south of the existing one, next to the western entrance to the Westmorland Retail Park and Manor Walks shopping centre.

It could be accessed from the retail park and shopping centre via the existing pedestrian and cycle subway under the A1171 and would be within walking distance of the main industrial employment areas of Nelson and Bassington Industrial Estates.

Cllr Allan Hepple, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, said: “The bottom line is that the station in its current location is not fit for purpose.

“A new station would greatly improve accessibility to key local and regional centres, enable more services at the station and facilitate accelerated economic growth within the south east of the county.

“Firstly we need to carry out a high-level study into this project and liaise with key stakeholders to see how we can take this exciting vision forward.

“A new station could really open up the network for more train operators to stop at the town.

“A number of national rail companies are also planning to increase the number of services running between Newcastle and Edinburgh and providing a new station with modern facilities at Cramlington may help persuade train companies to stop some of these services here.”
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