Ashington Excluded

There was no mention of the Ashington Blyth & Tyne line re-opening in yesterday’s budget, despite there seemingly being plenty of money for other schemes across the country. Subsequent review of the “Red Book”, the government publication with all the detail behind the budget speech, confirms that the Transforming Cities funding awards have been announced. The North East has indeed got some money, but not as much as was requested, and about half of that is for Metro capacity improvements (which we don’t doubt are needed as well). Meanwhile, a brief Press Release from the North East Joint Transport Committee carries the footnote that the government has previously indicated that the Northumberland Line is likely to be funded from “other sources”. So, all is not lost, but certainly nothing to celebrate just yet, and at the very least, most likely a delay to the hoped for 2022 re-opening. Here at SENRUG our campaign will very much continue.