Darlington station transformation moves a step closer

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Plans for the multi-million pound transformation of Darlington railway station took another major step forward this week as the formal planning application was submitted to Darlington Council.

The move comes just weeks after Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen unveiled new images for the scheme, which will improve the frequency and reliability of services as well as connectivity along the East Coast Main Line and to other regional stations.

The £100m redevelopment will pave the way for a new platform, entrance, station building and upgrades to its transport links.

Darlington Station’s overhaul has been spearheaded by Mayor Houchen who has provided a £25m investment to make sure the plans to transform Darlington station become a reality.

The major redevelopment will create three new platforms on the east side of the existing station to accommodate current and future services, a new station building and a footbridge linking the new platforms and building with the existing station.

An upgrade to the Victoria Road entrance and car park, pick up and drop off points on the western side of the station is planned, alongside new road layouts, wider pavements and improvements to walking and cycling access to make the station easier to reach.

Mayor Houchen said “A few weeks ago we unveiled what Darlington station could look like after this transformational upgrade, but it’s not just about pretty pictures, it’s about delivery.

“We’ve taken a major step closer to our vision, with the submission of the planning application for the station which, when complete, will give people from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool the more reliable, frequent and faster services that they’ve been crying out for – and that they deserve.

“As we recover our economy following the coronavirus pandemic, a robust and well-oiled transport network is vital for local people to get to work and training, or to simply reconnect with loved ones after this difficult time.

“This redevelopment will also help our businesses to thrive, improve freight links and attract new investment bringing with it good-quality, well-paid jobs.

“Our connections to London will be more important than ever, especially with the news that hundreds of government civil service jobs are being relocated to Darlington in the coming months.

“Our plans will make sure our region remains attractive and able to take advantage of even more opportunities in the years to come.”

Heather Scott, leader of Darlington Council and Tees Valley Combined Authority cabinet lead for transport, said: “The sweeping curves of Bank Top station have welcomed countless visitors to our town, as well as being a symbol of home to Darlington residents returning from their travels.

“These exciting transformation plans are sympathetic to the station’s heritage, while also ensuring we will have a modern transport hub that’s fit for purpose for generations to come.”

Work is planned to be completed in time for 2025’s 200th anniversary celebrations of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, recognising Darlington as the birthplace of the modern railway.

The submission comes just days ahead of the expected completion of the new platform at Middlesbrough railway station, which will increase capacity for the introduction of LNER’s Azuma trains to London in December.

This also joins millions of pounds being invested into station in Hartlepool, Billingham, Eaglescliffe, and Teesside Airport station among others.