Calls for Hartlepool train station to reopen second platform to boost capacity

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill has called for the re-opening of the town train station’s second platform to passengers to lead to improved services.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 8th February 2020, 8:05 am
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill.

He said Hartlepool is the busiest single platform station in the country and reopening the second platform is key to boosting capacity on the line.

Mr Hill said he raised the issue this week with representatives from Transport for the North, a sub national transport body that brings together the North’s local transport authorities and business leaders with Network Rail, Highways England, and HS2 Ltd, and works with the Government.

He said: “A single platform restricts movement in and out of the station, including freight and passenger services.

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Hartlepool rail station's second platform (right) has been closed to passengers for many years. Picture by FRANK REID

“The only way to increase capacity will be to reopen the second platform, improve the trains running on the line, increase the number of carriages and actually treat the people travelling with respect.”

Also this week during a commons debate on rail services in the North East, Mr Hill highlighted ‘completely unacceptable’ Northern services between Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

He said: “Hartlepool is the third busiest train station [on Teesside], which shows that there is great demand for rail travel, yet the trains to Newcastle run only once an hour, and even then they have only two carriages.”

Mr Hill says trains are often full before arriving at the next stop after Hartlepool in Seaham.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill says services to Newcastle should run more than once an hour and have more than two carriages to meet passenger demand. Picture by FRANK REID

North Durham Labour MP Kevan Jones, who led the debate, said: “If Hartlepool, a town adjacent to the two major conurbations of Teesside and Tyneside, were in the south-east of England, it would have a service every half hour, rather than the one my honourable friend has just outlined.”

But he said it will not increase capacity immediately, only be used to develop an outline business case that would consider the options available.

Mr Hill said: “Anybody who’s visited Hartlepool station lately will see there have been fabulous improvements to its waiting rooms but it’s the frequency of service they demand most.”