Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen today (September 12) hailed the news that TransPennine Express is extending its Manchester rail service to Redcar as a “huge step forward”.
The train operator has announced that from December 2019 its service from Manchester Airport will continue through Middlesbrough to Redcar, the new timetable will operate an hourly service to and from Redcar.
The service will also provide direct access from Redcar to York, Leeds and Manchester, opening up a route for thousands of local people who currently have to change at Middlesbrough.
The move comes following months of lobbying by Mayor Houchen with Transport for the North, Network Rail, TransPennine Express and then Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to extend the route.
As part of the new timetable, there will be a temporary cessation of services to the Redcar British Steel station, to allow passengers faster and more reliable direct journeys to Redcar Central.
Phase two will see the route extended even further to Saltburn and Mayor Houchen continues to work with all parties to ensure this vital future extension can be implemented as soon as possible.
Mayor Houchen said: “I’m delighted that TransPennine Express are extending their link into Redcar Central, this is a huge step forward and will allow local people to travel direct to York, Leeds and Manchester.
“The next phase of our plan is to ensure the route is extended all the way to Saltburn. This is essential to ensure residents in East Cleveland get the rail connectivity they deserve.
“I continue to work with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Network Rail and TransPennine Express to ensure this second phase link into Saltburn can happen as soon as possible.
“Extending the line is vital if we are to connect our amazing coast with the rest of the north, and give residents of Redcar and Saltburn direct access to into York, Leeds and Manchester.”