Transport Secretary Grant Shapps inspects work on Horden's new £10.55 million railway station
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been on hand to see “spades in the ground” as work continues to complete a new railway stop.
Horden’s £10.55 million station is scheduled to open this summer, giving the East Durham community a new link to reach Sunderland, Newcastle and Middlesbrough, as well as the national network.
Mr Shapps met with Durham County Council, Network Rail and the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as he visited the development on South East View, which is anticipated to handle more than 70,000 passengers a year and feature a 120 space car park.
It is hoped the station and its services – one every hour in both direction – will boost the wider regeneration, with work ongoing on potential commercial investment, housing projects and community schemes.
It is being funded by the council, which is working alongside Network Rail and Northern Rail, with £4.4 million in cash from the Department for Transport’s New Stations Fund and a grant from the LEP.
During his visit to the region, which also saw him visit Blyth Valley, Mr Shapps said a review of how the country’s rail network is underway to make using trains a better experience.
He said the station will make a “massive difference” and added: “I was there first thing seeing spades in the ground at this new stop.
“There are 57,900 people in that area who will be able to use that station, who haven’t been able to use a station since one 200 yards down the line was closed through the Beeching Cuts.
“The North East has got so much to offer and if we can link the transport and communities together with towns and cities, there is no limit to the ambitions of the area, creating jobs, and possibly the reason why we have seen people lend us their support.”
Council leader Councillor Simon Henig said: “We don’t have new stations being built very often but it has been a long-held ambition in the east of County Durham to have a station here at Horden so it’s fantastic seeing it come to fruition and to have the Secretary of State here to see for himself the progress we have made already.”