Major improvements planned for Eaglescliffe railway station have moved a step closer today (2 March) with fresh images of the project unveiled showing the proposed new western entrance as a planning application was submitted for its new car park.
The long-overdue redevelopment of the station is being led by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority alongside Network Rail and station operator Northern. It will see the existing ramps, which provide access to platforms, be replaced with a new pedestrian footbridge and lifts to boost accessibility.
The new footbridge will also provide access to the station from the west, at Durham Lane Industrial Estate, where a new station car park is to be built as part of the improvements. Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, a partner in the scheme, has now submitted a planning application for this site, which would be made up of around 120 spaces located next to the western footbridge.
If approved, the first phases of work would start in early summer and begin with road improvement work on Durham Lane and Cleasby Way to open up access for the car park. Elsewhere, Network Rail is continuing the development work on the footbridge, the second phase of the redevelopment, which is set to be complete in 2023.
Eaglescliffe links the region to both local and national destinations, with a half-hourly service between Darlington and Saltburn, hourly connections to Bishop Auckland, plus Grand Central’s route to London, running five times a day.
The scheme is being backed by up to £8.5million of funding from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, with further funding and support from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and Network Rail.
Mayor Houchen said: “2022 is our year of construction, this doesn’t just mean spades in the ground at Teesworks in Redcar or our amazing local airport, it means work getting underway on critical projects across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. I’m not wasting anytime in pushing forward plans that will improve the lives of people right across our region and this milestone on the long-overdue redevelopment of Eaglescliffe Station comes just a few short months after I signed off £1.6million to help Network Rail kick-start the design and development of its new footbridge.
“Eaglescliffe is an important station, connecting people locally and with a popular service to London, but using that station can be hugely inconvenient for local people. Passengers either have to drive for ten minutes to get around to the correct side of the station or get a connection from Allens West, which is just unacceptable. This investment will make traveling from the station quicker, simpler and more straight forward and the improved connectivity will prove a huge draw for businesses looking to base themselves at Durham Lane Industrial Estate.
“Right across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool we’re investing huge amounts of money to transform our railway stations and when these projects are complete, local people will have the rail infrastructure they have been crying out for and deserve.”
Councillor Bob Cook, Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: “Last year the Council purchased a 26-hectacre site at Durham Lane in Eaglescliffe to help protect and develop what’s a key employment site in the Borough – and part of the land purchased will be used as the new station car park.
“We’re in a really strong position to attract more businesses to Eaglescliffe, especially when you consider it is already home to lots of great firms and businesses like Tata Global Beverages, Returnable Packaging Services and Nifco.
“The improved transport links and accessibility to Eaglescliffe Station will be key to help ensure more businesses are drawn to the area.”
Matt Rice, North & East Route Director for Network Rail, said: “The new bridge at Eaglescliffe will not only make it much easier for those with limited mobility to use the station independently, but it will also provide a better experience for passengers with bikes, pushchairs or heavy luggage.
“We’re working with our partners at Tees Valley Combined Authority, Northern and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to deliver a series of rail upgrades that will see journeys enhanced throughout the region, as well as better connecting people to opportunities across the country.”
Kerry Peters, regional director for Northern, said: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. These improvements to Eaglescliffe station will make a real difference to the passenger experience and will be very much welcomed.”