Decisions due on two more stations for the Northumberland Line
The Northumberland Line rail project is expected to take a major step forward this week.
Two new stations, at Bedlington and Seaton Delaval, are both on track to be given the green light by Northumberland County Council’s Strategic Planning Committee today (Tuesday).
And if approved, both would be next to former stops on the old Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Line which shut to passenger travel in 1964.
However, the proposals have also raised some concerns, particularly over car parking.
A comment submitted by East Bedlington Parish Council said that while it supported the Northumberland Line scheme, it was opposed to the loss of green space and “wildlife habitat” to parking.
Similar issues were raised over plans for Seaton Delaval, with Seaton Valley Parish Council, pointing to fears that too much land has been allocated for parking.
Plans for the Seaton Delaval stop, in Astley Road, include a single platform, parking for 284 vehicles and dedicated pedestrian access from Wheatridge and Whytrigg Close.
In Bedlington, the station planned at Station Street would have two platforms and parking for just 35 cars.
A separate application has also been lodged for a 31-space car park in Liddle’s Street, north of the proposed stop.
Work at Seaton Delaval is expected to take about a year, while construction at Bedlington is predicted to take about 18 months, including the planned Liddle’s Street car park.
Plans for a new station in Ashington were approved earlier this year, followed by the green light for changes to the Tyne and Wear Metro’s Northumberland Park stop, which will allow passengers to switch between the two services.
Further applications have been submitted for Blyth Bebside and Newsham, but are yet to be decided.
Construction of stations and track works are expected to begin in earnest in summer 2022, with passenger services slated to begin in 2024.
Ahead of this, however, a public inquiry on an application for a Transport and Works Act Order from the Government to allow work to begin is due to commence from November 9.
Once open, rail operator Northern Trains plans to run two trains an house Newcastle Central Station to Ashington at peak times, stopping at Manors, Northumberland Park, Seaton Delaval, Newsham, Blyth Bedside and Bedlington.