NORTH East MPs from across the divide have repeated calls to reinstate a mothballed railway line after a campaign was ignored by Government.

Cross-party MPs have united to try and get the former Leamside Line reinstated, which would pave the way for a major extension of the Tyne and Wear Metro and increased rail freight capacity.

However the mothballed track, which runs from Gateshead, through Washington, Penshaw, Fencehouses, West Rainton, Belmont and Shincliffe, before merging with the East Coast Main Line (ECML) at Ferryhill, was not included in the Integrated Rail Plan.

Read more: North East MPs react to scrapped rail plans in the North

Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield, said: “There are many positives to the announcements but we need to see how capacity and connectivity on ECML north of Darlington can be delivered.

"The Leamside Line is critical to the capacity needs for ECML and I will continue to push ministers for this to be developed and I have written to ministers to establish how we take this forward.”

Read more: Government asked to back opening Ferryhill railway station

Bridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, said: “I know how bitterly disappointed local people and local businesses will be. I won’t stop fighting until we have the public transport network we deserve.”

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership said rail networks in the North are “significantly constrained” because of the refusal.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on or contact 01325 505054