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Predict And Arrive

I was recently challenged to produce a plan for building five million homes in over the next 50 years. My initial reaction was to react like the apocryphal bloke in deepest rural Ireland who, asked by a passing motorist the way to Limerick, replied that if he were going to Limerick, he wouldn-apos-t...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 20 November 2017

Affordability And Need

One of the big arguments put forward for the huge greenfield housing developments now being imposed by central government is that they would deliver so many homes they would lower house prices, and maybe even rents. The latest addition to this canon comes from the Royal Town Planning Institute which...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 08 November 2017

A Guide To The Greed Belt

A guide to green belts to address common misunderstandings is long overdue, but an organisation set up with the specific purpose of building more houses is not the body to provide it. In fact it is pretty much the worst possible author of such a publication. So I approached the Housing and Finance I...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 29 October 2017

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Metro expansion for North East proposed

Added on 29 July 2016

The North East Combined Authority has published plans for significant expansion of local rail passenger services in the region over the next 20 years.

The plans envisage replacement of rolling stock on the Tyne & Wear Metro and the obsolete mainline Pacer trains.

They also propose a limited expansion of services including reopening of a few routes like the mothballed Leamside Line.

“We are building a business case for major investment in Metro and local rail to improve journeys for passengers and provide cleaner, greener and attractive travel choices,” said lead member for transport Nick Forbes.

Central to the proposal is a take-over of parts of the infrastructure from Network Rail and integrated Metro and mainline services.

The Metro is part-way through a major refurbishment including station improvements, track renewal and infrastructure replacement. New trains are part of the latest plans.

The plans for new services are cautious and recognise major funding would be needed, as well as agreement with existing rail operators.

Plans to expand the Metro include new services to Newcastle Airport. The disused Leamside Line would see the previously proposed Newcastle-Sunderland via Washington loop, a new link to the east of the city of Durham and Ferryhill and potential reuse for high-speed inter-city services.

The long-cherished ambition of a Metro service to Blyth and Ashington is also included, as are a number of other smaller extensions and heavy rail improvements.

Large parts of the North East would see little benefit, however. These include the populous parts of western and southern County Durham and Teesside and other possible opportunities in north-east and east Durham on rail alignments have been ignored.

Earlier proposals such as the Derwent Valley line to Consett have not been included.

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