VILLAGERS close to the site of a new £32bn high-speed rail network which could run on trains built in the North-East say the plans have left them distraught.

The Government has revealed proposals for a 250mph service between London and Newcastle, which would cut journeys by more than 30 minutes.

The service will use the East Coast Main Line from Newcastle to York, before joining a new high-speed line at Church Fenton, outside York.

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Japanese manufacturer, Hitachi, has confirmed it will bid to build the new trains at its new factory in Newton Aycliffe, from 2025, ahead of the high-speed network opening in 2033.

Last night residents in Church Fenton met to discuss the plans.

Jo Mason, a parish councillor, said: “The village is reeling, we feel like we have been hit over the head and mugged, we cannot see who its going to benefit.

“Most people are absolutely distraught, some are confused and some are extremely angry.

“One lady told me everything she has is tied up in the equity of her house but now that has been wiped away.

“She said she feels like she has been mugged and robbed.”