Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (December 5th 2011) has called for the government to see that Teesside is put on the railway electrification map.
Tom said “In the national infrastructure programme announced last week, Chancellor George Osborne said that the Leeds to Manchester railway line was to be electrified, bringing about a faster and more modern Trans-Pennine travelling environment. It has now been said that this programme will also extend to York.”
“But there is a missing link in this announcement – and that is the link between Middlesbrough and the main line North of York. If this link – used around the clock by Trans-Pennine express services – is not electrified it leaves it dangerously exposed, as it will still need older diesel powered trains, which may well be phased out by Trans-Pennine express when the section between Leeds and Manchester is connected to the grid.”
“This would be a disastrous outcome for Teesside, as the present service is well used with increasing ticket sales year by year. It gives a link from here to the big stores of Leeds and Manchester and directly into and from Manchester Airport.”
“I will be tabling an urgent question to Transport Minister Justine Greening asking her to look into the matter and for her to ask Network Rail and Trans Pennine express to build up a business case for putting Teesside firmly on the railway electrification map.”