DARLINGTON’S rich railway history has been honoured in a public vote to decide the name of a major commuter road.

The Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor will now be known as Tornado Way, a name that pays homage to the iconic steam locomotive built in the town.

First opened to motorists in 2008 after more than a year of work, the multi-million pound Darlington Eastern Transport Corridor, which links the A66 with the town centre, was designed to provide a reprieve for the congested Haughton Road.

In March 2017, Darlington Borough Council decided to abandon the DETC’s working title and appealed to the public for help in renaming the road, which was dubbed “the most important one to be built in Darlington for many years”.

Three options were offered in a social media poll, with the results recognising the importance of Tornado.

When it was completed in Darlington in 2008, Tornado became the first main line steam locomotive to be built in the UK in more than 50 years.

A social media poll conducted by the council saw around 50 per cent of votes cast in honour of the iconic locomotive, with the public’s choice putting the world-famous Tornado ahead of Commerce Way and 1825 Way.

An unveiling of a Tornado Way road sign on Thursday morning marked the official renaming of the busy commuter corridor.

Present to witness the unveiling were Paul Bruce and Graeme Bunker-James from the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, a charity which built the Peppercorn class A1 Pacific No. 60163, named after the RAF aircraft, at its Darlington Locomotive Works.

They were joined by Cllr Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for leisure and local environment.

Cllr Wallis said: “Darlington is rightly proud to be the birthplace of Tornado. We are delighted to name this road in its honour and excited about what the future may hold.

“Tornado Way has already unlocked a huge amount of positive development for the eastern side of Darlington, creating thousands of jobs and hundreds of new homes, and there is still more to come.”

A spokeswoman for Darlington Borough Council said that the road “has opened up many acres of land for development and can be credited with boosting housing development, employment and education facilities."

For more information about Tornado, visit a1steam.com