After meeting with Network Rail and LNER I have been told that the direct Middlesbrough to London rail link won’t happen until December 2021 at the earliest. It’s been delay after delay since 2016.

“I’ve been pressing this Tory Government for many years on securing funds to upgrade and develop Middlesbrough Railway Station and also to bring in a direct service to London Kings Cross which will be a massive shot in the arm for the Middlesbrough and Tees Valley economy.

I successfully secured the commitment for that London service back in 2016 with a promise of it starting in May 2020 with a backstop of May 2021. But I’ve been told by LNER that it won’t happen until December 2021 at the earliest! This isn’t good enough.

Network Rail will have all the necessary works done on the East Coast Mainline well before December 2021 so no one can rely on that excuse for delay anymore.

There’s enough time to extend platform 2 in readiness for a short form London service in 2021, but there’s been more and more slippage on the promise of the 3rd platform to accommodate the full length train which won’t happen until 2022 or 2023.

LNER have got the last of new Azuma trains but blame slippage on driver training and timetable complexities for delaying our London train.

Its excuse after excuse but Middlesbrough is always the last in line.  So much for “levelling up”


I’ll be writing to the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps demanding his urgent intervention to get this service back on track.”

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