I wholly approve and support improved transport links in our area. Getting people out of cars and onto public transport is critical to address congestion, air quality, addressing the climate emergency by reducing emissions and for improving the liveability in our urban areas. Greater frequency of trains on the current rail line running parallel with Marton Road would be immensely beneficial and could be done quite quickly. The park ride to the south of Middlesbrough is a sensible proposal and I give it my full support. Clearly the processes for delivering transport infrastructure projects are frustratingly lengthy but I hope that funding can be found to further explore this proposition in more detail. It is of course imperative that the outstanding funding is approved for existing transport commitments in the Tees Valley and in particular at Middlesbrough station. We’ve already had Network Rail carry out major multi million pound works at Middlesbrough Station, with more investment in the pipeline to deliver a 21st century transport hub with a third platform and the necessary works to the track and signals to facilitate the direct train services to London and additional regional and local services. We’re currently awaiting sign off from the new Transport Secretary Grant Shapps for the balance of the money in that regard and I’ll continue to press the case in Parliament.
I’d like to think it possible that the London service might ultimately start from a parkway station to the south and then onto Middlesbrough itself before heading to the capital. As the latest IPPR report showed beyond any doubt, the North of England has been neglected by the Tory Government in terms of transport infrastructure investment and its high time that was put right.