Re-opening of Leek-Stoke Line on Track

Over 1,000 residents backed the idea to re-open the Leek to Stoke line in a petition organised by local MPs. Now Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Members of Parliament have completed the outline proposal as to why the line should re-open, and the economic benefits it will bring to North Staffordshire.

The outline proposal is being submitted to government as part of the Restoring Your Railway Fund which was launched by the Department for Transport last year.

Karen has held the ambition of re-opening the line for a long time and commented,

“Having a clean, reliable train service into the City would benefit so many people in the Moorlands who travel for work and leisure.

“It would also allow many more to visit the beautiful Moorland countryside and attractions without adding to the pressure on our roads and has the potential to take freight off the roads, benefitting those who live along the A53, A520, A52 and A523.  This bid is another step towards reinstating the line and I will do all I can to turn this into a reality.”

Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North, Jonathan Gullis, is backing the proposals, “The re-opening of the line would benefit the whole of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, connecting Leek up with Stoke Station and it will help level-up North Staffordshire.”

“Rail connectivity is crucial if we are to improve public transport locally. The re-opening of the line will not happen overnight, but we are heading in the right direction to get our case heard by government; giving us the best chance to turn it into a reality. I can tell how enthused Ministers are with the proposals each time I have met with them, pushing the benefits the line would bring to Norton, Milton and Stockton Brook!” said Jonathan.

After the submission this month by MPs to government, the next stage would be funding to commission a formal feasibility study into how the line would operate, stations’ location, and what type of service would run.

It is estimated that the railway would reduce congestion on Leek Road and Leek New Road, improving journey times to Leek. The line would connect Staffordshire Moorlands and communities on the edge of the city, such as Norton, up with Stoke Station.

This is the second major railway re-opening proposal for Stoke-on-Trent, with the first already progressing through the feasibility study phase, led by Stoke South MP Jack Brereton.

“Reopening the Stoke-Leek line with a station at Fenton Manor would massively improve our local public transport and is a big part of our plans to transform rail services locally.”

“Together with a refurbished Longton station, a new station at Meir, and a proposed station at Trentham alongside more investment in buses, this network is really starting to come together. I would urge the Government to back our plans to properly connect up North Staffordshire making it easier for people to get around, significantly improving access to skills and work,” said Mr Brereton.

Jo Gideon MP said:

“I am delighted that the meetings I’ve hosted with train operators have all been positive.  There is a real need and desire for better public transport in Stoke-on-Trent.  Better options for trains will mean less-congested roads, too.  30% of households locally don’t have a car, and it’s great that we’ve worked so closely together as MPs along the line to get North Staffordshire moving again – for everyone.”

Local councils and Members of Parliament expect to hear if they have been successful in their submission during the summer.

Tony Walley
Tony Walley
News & Sport Editor

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