£80m station plans 'will support thousands of jobs'

IN FOCUS: Darlington's Bank Top station

IN FOCUS: Darlington's Bank Top station

First published in Business News
Last updated

BOLD £80m plans to regenerate a North-East railway station will support thousands of jobs and attract key investment to the region, business bosses have claimed.

Darlington Borough Council and Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (TVU) say upgrading Darlington Bank Top Station would help deliver 25,000 local jobs and add £1bn to the economy.

Bosses say it could emulate King?s Cross Station, with reduced journey times and increased capacity for more long distance services on the East Coast Mainline.

The proposals, which include splitting and building new platforms and creating more commercial space, were revealed as TVU presented its case for North-East rail travel ahead of the process to replace the East Coast franchise.

They also want to lift the frequency of trains at Darlington, and add services accessing Middlesbrough.

They added it would increase capacity for extra rail freight from Teesside?s industrial sector and be a catalyst for growth among Darlington's growing business hub, which includes the new £39m National Biologics Centre.

A report says the proposed scheme would require the support of, and majority funding from, Network Rail.

Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, and TVU leadership board member, said: ?It is vital that industry and our inward investment stay here.

  • This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and if we get it, we can achieve significant value in the Tees Valley.
  • It is not just about existing services.
  • There is so much opportunity to build investment.

Plans were unveiled two years ago to turn Bank Top into a regional hub, with changes including a new platform to serve southbound trains and local services; the conversion of platform four to serve Bishop Auckland; and new shops in the station portico, in Victoria Road.

A report outlined TVU's argument on improving services.

It said: ?Darlington Station acts as a critical transport gateway to the Tees Valley providing fast and regular links to London, Scotland and other destinations.

  • There are more than 360,000 annual trips to London alone with this direct route, facilitating visitor revenue of £5.4m in the local community every year.
  • Current rail services bring in 600,000 visitors to the Tees Valley every year that spend about £72m, supporting 1,400 jobs, and the town has critical links to Scotland for the oil and gas sector.
  • There is also a compelling case to introduce new direct services between Middlesbrough and London.
  • Middlesbrough is arguably the largest town in England without such a direct link and GDP impact could be as much as ?47m a year if up to two trains an hour were introduced. Linda Edworthy, TVU's director of policy a strategy, added: ?We have to see this as a real positive opportunity.
  • We have seen it at King?s Cross, and while Darlington is smaller, there is no reason why it cannot be the same.
  • The area deserves it.

Shortlisted bidders for the East Coast franchise, First Group, Keolis/Eurostar and Virgin/Stagecoach, will submit bids this month, with the preferred bidder announced in November.

Comments (9)

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10:30am Tue 10 Jun 14

Spy Boy says...

" . . . upgrading Darlington Bank Top Station would help deliver 25,000 local jobs and add £1bn to the economy."

Don't you love these nice round figures that seem just plucked from the air? No way can I see how it would cost £80,000,000 and produce these huge numbers of jobs. All this on an extra 2 trains per hour over peak times? Good to see that Enid Blyton is still alive and kicking.

I wonder where our share of the £80,000,000 is coming from? I can't see those figures printed above. So tell us Bill, how much will every ratepayer have to put up to get this Pie-in-the-Sky project up and running? And how much would this add to Ada Burns annual bonus? We don't even know what she got last year, as she was getting rid of council workers and cutting salaries for the rest.
" . . . upgrading Darlington Bank Top Station would help deliver 25,000 local jobs and add £1bn to the economy." Don't you love these nice round figures that seem just plucked from the air? No way can I see how it would cost £80,000,000 and produce these huge numbers of jobs. All this on an extra 2 trains per hour over peak times? Good to see that Enid Blyton is still alive and kicking. I wonder where our share of the £80,000,000 is coming from? I can't see those figures printed above. So tell us Bill, how much will every ratepayer have to put up to get this Pie-in-the-Sky project up and running? And how much would this add to Ada Burns annual bonus? We don't even know what she got last year, as she was getting rid of council workers and cutting salaries for the rest. Spy Boy
  • Score: 10

12:30pm Tue 10 Jun 14

greenfinger says...

they'll be a few backhanders on this deal.
they'll be a few backhanders on this deal. greenfinger
  • Score: 3

12:53pm Tue 10 Jun 14

cholmes005 says...

25,000 extra jobs and make the station like kings cross seriously? never mind extra 2 trains a hour to London how about having the trains to bishop Auckland at set patterns every hour instead at different internals here there and everywhere. A later train heading south from Newcastle would also be handy for the local area
25,000 extra jobs and make the station like kings cross seriously? never mind extra 2 trains a hour to London how about having the trains to bishop Auckland at set patterns every hour instead at different internals here there and everywhere. A later train heading south from Newcastle would also be handy for the local area cholmes005
  • Score: 7

4:04pm Tue 10 Jun 14

oxbridge says...

There might even be a train to Durham Tees Valley airport!
There might even be a train to Durham Tees Valley airport! oxbridge
  • Score: 4

7:03pm Tue 10 Jun 14

pensioner2 says...

Quote- There is also a compelling case to introduce new direct services between Middlesbrough and London.
Middlesbrough is arguably the largest town in England without such a direct link and GDP impact could be as much as ?47m a year if up to two trains an hour were introduced. Linda Edworthy, TVU's director of policy a strategy, added: ?We have to see this as a real positive opportunity.

And how is giving a direct route from Middlesbrough to London going to benefit Darlington and Bank Top Station?? Why would this even be more possible than it already is -train providers excepted- there is already a direct route from Middlesbrough to York on the main east coast line, its simply a case of sending the train straight down the line to london, these plans would not affect that existing possibility) There is already a route from Sunderland to Middlesbrough so there could (train companies willing) be a route direct from Sunderland through to Kings Cross via Middlesbrough- which would be more profitable than just a Middlesbrough/London connection -it would save Sunderland passengers having to travel to either Durham, Newcastle or even Darlington for a London train. What is REALLY needed is cheaper rail travel full stop!!! and perhaps more trains to Whitby direct from Darlington or Bishop Auckland (via Darlington) during the summer season AT A REASONABLE PRICE (just checked on Nat rail enquiries a single ticket for one to whitby is £14.60 or £18.40 return, thats a little under £40 for me and the wife to travel by train to whitby for a day out, is it any wonder i would therefore elect to travel by car (despite the beauty of the train journey which would admitedly be more relaxing) and maybe re-instate the Darlington or Bishop Auckland to Scarborough route- - a journey enjoyed many times in my younger years till that bloke Beeching came along and damaged the british rail infrastructure to a bare bones "service".

One last word- conflict of interest??- Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, and TVU leadership board member, said: ?It is vital that industry and our inward investment stay here.
Quote- There is also a compelling case to introduce new direct services between Middlesbrough and London. Middlesbrough is arguably the largest town in England without such a direct link and GDP impact could be as much as ?47m a year if up to two trains an hour were introduced. Linda Edworthy, TVU's director of policy a strategy, added: ?We have to see this as a real positive opportunity. And how is giving a direct route from Middlesbrough to London going to benefit Darlington and Bank Top Station?? Why would this even be more possible than it already is -train providers excepted- there is already a direct route from Middlesbrough to York on the main east coast line, its simply a case of sending the train straight down the line to london, these plans would not affect that existing possibility) There is already a route from Sunderland to Middlesbrough so there could (train companies willing) be a route direct from Sunderland through to Kings Cross via Middlesbrough- which would be more profitable than just a Middlesbrough/London connection -it would save Sunderland passengers having to travel to either Durham, Newcastle or even Darlington for a London train. What is REALLY needed is cheaper rail travel full stop!!! and perhaps more trains to Whitby direct from Darlington or Bishop Auckland (via Darlington) during the summer season AT A REASONABLE PRICE (just checked on Nat rail enquiries a single ticket for one to whitby is £14.60 or £18.40 return, thats a little under £40 for me and the wife to travel by train to whitby for a day out, is it any wonder i would therefore elect to travel by car (despite the beauty of the train journey which would admitedly be more relaxing) and maybe re-instate the Darlington or Bishop Auckland to Scarborough route- - a journey enjoyed many times in my younger years till that bloke Beeching came along and damaged the british rail infrastructure to a bare bones "service". One last word- conflict of interest??- Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, and TVU leadership board member, said: ?It is vital that industry and our inward investment stay here. pensioner2
  • Score: -1

7:22pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Triglet says...

Delusion springs to mind
Delusion springs to mind Triglet
  • Score: 5

8:37pm Tue 10 Jun 14

cholmes005 says...

pensioner2 wrote:
Quote- There is also a compelling case to introduce new direct services between Middlesbrough and London.
Middlesbrough is arguably the largest town in England without such a direct link and GDP impact could be as much as ?47m a year if up to two trains an hour were introduced. Linda Edworthy, TVU's director of policy a strategy, added: ?We have to see this as a real positive opportunity.

And how is giving a direct route from Middlesbrough to London going to benefit Darlington and Bank Top Station?? Why would this even be more possible than it already is -train providers excepted- there is already a direct route from Middlesbrough to York on the main east coast line, its simply a case of sending the train straight down the line to london, these plans would not affect that existing possibility) There is already a route from Sunderland to Middlesbrough so there could (train companies willing) be a route direct from Sunderland through to Kings Cross via Middlesbrough- which would be more profitable than just a Middlesbrough/London connection -it would save Sunderland passengers having to travel to either Durham, Newcastle or even Darlington for a London train. What is REALLY needed is cheaper rail travel full stop!!! and perhaps more trains to Whitby direct from Darlington or Bishop Auckland (via Darlington) during the summer season AT A REASONABLE PRICE (just checked on Nat rail enquiries a single ticket for one to whitby is £14.60 or £18.40 return, thats a little under £40 for me and the wife to travel by train to whitby for a day out, is it any wonder i would therefore elect to travel by car (despite the beauty of the train journey which would admitedly be more relaxing) and maybe re-instate the Darlington or Bishop Auckland to Scarborough route- - a journey enjoyed many times in my younger years till that bloke Beeching came along and damaged the british rail infrastructure to a bare bones "serviceSunderland has a direct service to London so routing that via Middlesbrough would mean the train doubling back on itself. I guess if Middlesbrough had a direct train to London it would go via yarm and northallerton not darlington as again train would be doubling back on itself. As grand central run a train service from nearby eaglescliffe doubt another operator would step in. With regards to expensive train fare to Whitby 2 people can get a together railcard reducing the fare by a third
[quote][p][bold]pensioner2[/bold] wrote: Quote- There is also a compelling case to introduce new direct services between Middlesbrough and London. Middlesbrough is arguably the largest town in England without such a direct link and GDP impact could be as much as ?47m a year if up to two trains an hour were introduced. Linda Edworthy, TVU's director of policy a strategy, added: ?We have to see this as a real positive opportunity. And how is giving a direct route from Middlesbrough to London going to benefit Darlington and Bank Top Station?? Why would this even be more possible than it already is -train providers excepted- there is already a direct route from Middlesbrough to York on the main east coast line, its simply a case of sending the train straight down the line to london, these plans would not affect that existing possibility) There is already a route from Sunderland to Middlesbrough so there could (train companies willing) be a route direct from Sunderland through to Kings Cross via Middlesbrough- which would be more profitable than just a Middlesbrough/London connection -it would save Sunderland passengers having to travel to either Durham, Newcastle or even Darlington for a London train. What is REALLY needed is cheaper rail travel full stop!!! and perhaps more trains to Whitby direct from Darlington or Bishop Auckland (via Darlington) during the summer season AT A REASONABLE PRICE (just checked on Nat rail enquiries a single ticket for one to whitby is £14.60 or £18.40 return, thats a little under £40 for me and the wife to travel by train to whitby for a day out, is it any wonder i would therefore elect to travel by car (despite the beauty of the train journey which would admitedly be more relaxing) and maybe re-instate the Darlington or Bishop Auckland to Scarborough route- - a journey enjoyed many times in my younger years till that bloke Beeching came along and damaged the british rail infrastructure to a bare bones "serviceSunderland has a direct service to London so routing that via Middlesbrough would mean the train doubling back on itself. I guess if Middlesbrough had a direct train to London it would go via yarm and northallerton not darlington as again train would be doubling back on itself. As grand central run a train service from nearby eaglescliffe doubt another operator would step in. With regards to expensive train fare to Whitby 2 people can get a together railcard reducing the fare by a third cholmes005
  • Score: 1

8:38pm Tue 10 Jun 14

cholmes005 says...

pensioner2 wrote:
Quote- There is also a compelling case to introduce new direct services between Middlesbrough and London.
Middlesbrough is arguably the largest town in England without such a direct link and GDP impact could be as much as ?47m a year if up to two trains an hour were introduced. Linda Edworthy, TVU's director of policy a strategy, added: ?We have to see this as a real positive opportunity.

And how is giving a direct route from Middlesbrough to London going to benefit Darlington and Bank Top Station?? Why would this even be more possible than it already is -train providers excepted- there is already a direct route from Middlesbrough to York on the main east coast line, its simply a case of sending the train straight down the line to london, these plans would not affect that existing possibility) There is already a route from Sunderland to Middlesbrough so there could (train companies willing) be a route direct from Sunderland through to Kings Cross via Middlesbrough- which would be more profitable than just a Middlesbrough/London connection -it would save Sunderland passengers having to travel to either Durham, Newcastle or even Darlington for a London train. What is REALLY needed is cheaper rail travel full stop!!! and perhaps more trains to Whitby direct from Darlington or Bishop Auckland (via Darlington) during the summer season AT A REASONABLE PRICE (just checked on Nat rail enquiries a single ticket for one to whitby is £14.60 or £18.40 return, thats a little under £40 for me and the wife to travel by train to whitby for a day out, is it any wonder i would therefore elect to travel by car (despite the beauty of the train journey which would admitedly be more relaxing) and maybe re-instate the Darlington or Bishop Auckland to Scarborough route- - a journey enjoyed many times in my younger years till that bloke Beeching came along and damaged the british rail infrastructure to a bare bones "service".

One last word- conflict of interest??- Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, and TVU leadership board member, said: ?It is vital that industry and our inward investment stay here.
Sunderland has a direct service to London so routing that via Middlesbrough would mean the train doubling back on itself. I guess if Middlesbrough had a direct train to London it would go via yarm and northallerton not darlington as again train would be doubling back on itself. As grand central run a train service from nearby eaglescliffe doubt another operator would step in. With regards to expensive train fare to Whitby 2 people can get a together railcard reducing the fare by a third
[quote][p][bold]pensioner2[/bold] wrote: Quote- There is also a compelling case to introduce new direct services between Middlesbrough and London. Middlesbrough is arguably the largest town in England without such a direct link and GDP impact could be as much as ?47m a year if up to two trains an hour were introduced. Linda Edworthy, TVU's director of policy a strategy, added: ?We have to see this as a real positive opportunity. And how is giving a direct route from Middlesbrough to London going to benefit Darlington and Bank Top Station?? Why would this even be more possible than it already is -train providers excepted- there is already a direct route from Middlesbrough to York on the main east coast line, its simply a case of sending the train straight down the line to london, these plans would not affect that existing possibility) There is already a route from Sunderland to Middlesbrough so there could (train companies willing) be a route direct from Sunderland through to Kings Cross via Middlesbrough- which would be more profitable than just a Middlesbrough/London connection -it would save Sunderland passengers having to travel to either Durham, Newcastle or even Darlington for a London train. What is REALLY needed is cheaper rail travel full stop!!! and perhaps more trains to Whitby direct from Darlington or Bishop Auckland (via Darlington) during the summer season AT A REASONABLE PRICE (just checked on Nat rail enquiries a single ticket for one to whitby is £14.60 or £18.40 return, thats a little under £40 for me and the wife to travel by train to whitby for a day out, is it any wonder i would therefore elect to travel by car (despite the beauty of the train journey which would admitedly be more relaxing) and maybe re-instate the Darlington or Bishop Auckland to Scarborough route- - a journey enjoyed many times in my younger years till that bloke Beeching came along and damaged the british rail infrastructure to a bare bones "service". One last word- conflict of interest??- Councillor Bill Dixon, leader of Darlington Borough Council, and TVU leadership board member, said: ?It is vital that industry and our inward investment stay here.[/p][/quote]Sunderland has a direct service to London so routing that via Middlesbrough would mean the train doubling back on itself. I guess if Middlesbrough had a direct train to London it would go via yarm and northallerton not darlington as again train would be doubling back on itself. As grand central run a train service from nearby eaglescliffe doubt another operator would step in. With regards to expensive train fare to Whitby 2 people can get a together railcard reducing the fare by a third cholmes005
  • Score: 0

1:51am Wed 11 Jun 14

vernonl says...

I think that Darlington is attempting to punch above its weight. Bank Top Station is an unattractive station and has been throughout the forty three years that I have used it. Any comparison with King's Cross Station really is stretching credibility of the grand plan.

Providing extra trains will not necessarily provide extra passengers though they might help provide the transport needs of the projected 25,000 jobs created through its renovation.

I do want to see regeneration of the station area and I'd love to see how the train shed is going to be spruced up because it really is a dull, dull, place to be.

Kings Cross Station upgrade has really improved it and the new retail area is vastly better than the old retail units that fronted the station. It will be interesting to see where the footprint of the new retail area of Bank Top will be. It has to be asked - will it compete with existing traders in the town centre?
I think that Darlington is attempting to punch above its weight. Bank Top Station is an unattractive station and has been throughout the forty three years that I have used it. Any comparison with King's Cross Station really is stretching credibility of the grand plan. Providing extra trains will not necessarily provide extra passengers though they might help provide the transport needs of the projected 25,000 jobs created through its renovation. I do want to see regeneration of the station area and I'd love to see how the train shed is going to be spruced up because it really is a dull, dull, place to be. Kings Cross Station upgrade has really improved it and the new retail area is vastly better than the old retail units that fronted the station. It will be interesting to see where the footprint of the new retail area of Bank Top will be. It has to be asked - will it compete with existing traders in the town centre? vernonl
  • Score: 1

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