MORE than 160 people have signed a petition in a matter of days to reopen a railway station following backing by the Prime Minister.

A community is calling for the reopening of Ferryhill Railway Station and Leamside Line after Sedgefield MP Paul Howell raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs).

Last month the Prime Minister said it was his ‘ambition’ to see a train line to Ferryhill reopened.

Plans have previously raised the prospect of extending the Metro route service south to the town, down the former Leamside Line and via Durham City.

The town council’s independent councillors have since created a petition on Durham County Council's website to make the idea a reality.

The councillors said they have been trying to regenerate the town for the last two decades and are excited by the prospect of the station reopening.

Town councillor David Farry hopes the petition will gain more than 10,000 signatures, he said: "As independent councillors we have been campaigning for years and have always supported the opening of Ferryhill Railway Station and the reintroduction of the Leamside Line.

The Northern Echo:

"We've got to be realistic Ferryhill is now a commuter town and by opening the rail station it would give the community direct transport to places where we know there's mass development and job opportunities. The opening would generate employment opportunities for Ferryhill and we believe it has the best chance it has ever had and want to support our MP to make it happen.

"We have missed out on funding in the past and feel like we've been left behind so this is a real genuine opportunity for us."

MP Howell – who is from Ferryhill – believes the reopening of the railway station would boost economic growth for the town.

He said: "We have the opportunity to reconnect Ferryhill and its surrounding villages. The desire by the UK Government to put more investment into infrastructure and the levelling up agenda means all the pieces fit together and puts Ferryhill in a really good position. I'm doing everything I can not only working with the team in Westminster but also the local councils."

  • To sign the petition click here