A CABINET minister on the campaign trail made the short trip to the North-East following the Conservative manifesto launch in West Yorkshire.

Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling travelled from Halifax for a whistle-stop tour of the region today (May 18).

Mr Grayling made stop offs at the railway stations in Darlington and Durham City where he spoke of the party's vision for Northern Powerhouse Railway and improvements to transport in the North-East.

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He also zoned in on local issues in Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle where residents are calling for changes in response to safety fears.

"First and foremost we launched the Conservative manifesto this morning in Halifax and I've come to the North-East to support the candidates here," said Mr Grayling.

"What Theresa May set out this morning was a strong vision for the country and a really thoughtful vision that works for everyone."

First on his tour was Darlington where he discussed plans for reshaping the Northern Rail franchise including the scrapping of pacer trains to make way for new ones by 2020.

"We are very keen to see more people travelling by rail – we want more people off the road and on public transport," he said. "With the Northern Powerhouse Rail we will make a huge difference."

In New Coundon, near Bishop Auckland, residents expressed concerns over speeding cars on the A688.

Mother-of-three Joanne Golightly told the cabinet minister about a recent crash which saw a bus hit her turning vehicle from behind after a car overtook her.

He told the residents there were two options to look into – introducing a 40mph limit or putting up flashing signs to warn drivers to slow down or alert them to a dangerous corner.

Mr Grayling, who joined Tory election candidate Chris Adams, said: "Chris brought me here because he is concerned about the safety issue of the road.

"I hope I gave them an idea of some of the options open to them.

"It is the little things that make the difference."

The pair then visited Barnard Castle to listen to members of the public who are concerned about HGVs hitting the historic butter market.

Offering his support to the hopeful, he added: "I think with a strong, young MP there is an opportunity to bring a fresh dimension to the party.

"There's nothing like fresh blood in politics to bring a sense of purpose to the community."