A PETITION has been launched to reinstate a railway station on the East Coast Main Line more than 60 years after it closed.

Darlington solicitor Nigel Boddy, 55, is calling on the Department for Transport to rebuild a train station in Aycliffe Village in County Durham.

He believes British Railways’ decision to close the station in 1953 –while Newton Aycliffe was being built - was a mistake and argues the ever growing population, which is about 30,000 at present, deserves better.

The petition, Re-open Aycliffe East Coast Mainline Railway Station, has attracted 258 signatures on the campaign website you.38degrees.org.uk

Mr Boddy, who worked in Newton Aycliffe for many years, said the town’s railway station on the Bishop Auckland branch line was inadequate, adding: “Aycliffe residents have to access the East Coast Main Line through Darlington or Durham, despite the fact the line runs right past it.

“Many are forced to use cars to get to work, college or university at a time when we are trying to encourage people to use green transport.

“I am asking the Department for Transport to either rebuild the station or build a station at a new site nearby, perhaps with park and ride provision.”

A discussion on the Northern Echo’s Newton Aycliffe News Facebook page saw several residents voice support for Mr Boddy’s campaign.

However, Councillor Bill Blenkinsopp, who represents Aycliffe Village on Great Aycliffe Town Council, said the scheme was unviable.

“There is nothing left of the station now and flats have been built there,” he said.

“I cannot see where else it would go. Also, parking is already an issue in the village and this would make it worse.”

Councillor John Clare, deputy leader of Great Aycliffe Town Council, said: “It’s an interesting idea and something people should be aware of but I believe it would be problematic to provide a station there.”

A spokesperson from the Department for Transport said: “We are always happy to hear proposals for new transport initiatives. In the first instance it would be for the local authority to investigate the case for re-opening Aycliffe station, based on the transport needs of the area.

“We are investing record amounts in improving our railways to build a stronger economy and a fairer society.”

A Durham County Council spokesperson said the authority had not been approached by Mr Boddy but would investigate the issue if contacted.