Two years after starting the fight to extend the TransPennine Express (TPE) services from Manchester to Saltburn, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has today (14 October) received confirmation from TPE that it will extend its Manchester rail service to Saltburn in May.
The train operator has announced that from spring next year, its service from Manchester Airport which currently runs through Middlesbrough and terminates at Redcar will now end at Saltburn.
TransPennine Express has given the Mayor’s plans the go ahead to provide the hourly service, which will also give direct access from Saltburn to York, Leeds and Manchester, opening up a route for local people who currently have to change at Redcar.
The move comes after years of lobbying by Mayor Houchen to extend the route, ensuring those in the town and across East Cleveland can benefit from a better rail service to the rest of the region and beyond.
Mayor Houchen said: “I’m delighted that TransPennine has committed to this change, giving local people the rail network they deserve and opening up direct travel to York, Leeds and Manchester. We’ve been working on this for more than two years, so to see this hard work pay off and to deliver this service not just for the people of Redcar but now the people of Saltburn and East Cleveland is fantastic.
“As we recover from the coronavirus pandemic, better transport to towns and cities across the north will play an important role in both allowing businesses to grow and also helping people to quickly and easily reconnect with friends and loved ones living in these towns. Connecting our amazing coast with destinations along this route will also help boost tourism and get people from further afield enjoying the region and spending in our brilliant businesses.
“As we continue to upgrade our stations across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool with plans for Darlington’s transformation recently approved and funding for disabled access to Billingham secured, this news shows we’re not stopping in pushing for railways that benefit the length and breadth of our region.”
MP for Redcar, Jacob Young, said: “In my first week as an MP here, we saw the extension of the Manchester Airport train to Redcar Central, a huge win for our area – now to extend it to Saltburn is an even bigger win and shows the great opportunities here.
“This extension is something that I’ve campaigned for alongside Simon & Ben for a number of years and I’m really pleased to see it finally happening.
“Across Teesside we’re levelling up opportunities whether that’s with more jobs for local people, better schools for our kids and, with things like this, improved public transport for everyone.
“We’re getting on with the job of transforming Teesside for the better, and it shows.”
Simon Clarke, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: “It is fantastic news that TransPennine Express have decided to extend this service, linking Manchester Airport directly to Saltburn.
“This is something I have campaigned for since I was first elected. It means better train services for Saltburn and will allow local people to travel directly to York, Leeds and Manchester.
“I’ve worked hard alongside my colleagues to achieve this outcome and I’m delighted for the people of Saltburn and East Cleveland.”