The development of a railway station in the east of the county has been a recognised council priority for a number of years.
A station will help improve transport links within this part of the county, creating an economically and environmentally sustainable solution, raising the profile of the area, as well as offering residents wider travel options and access to more employment opportunities by linking to the nearby towns and cities. It is estimated that the proposed station will serve more than 39,000 people making more than 71,000 trips a year.
Since consultation in 2016, when more than 98% of respondents welcomed the building of the station, we have been busy taking the necessary actions to make the station become reality.
Planning permission has now been approved and construction of the station will start in spring 2019 to meet the target of opening the station in spring 2020.
Work around the development has already started with the roads, footpaths and cycle links being improved. The construction of the station will begin with the development of car park area, from which all other works will be carried out. Following this Network Rail will take over to construct the new platforms and infrastructure for the new station from spring 2019.
A number of places were considered within East Durham, but Horden has been chosen for the following reasons:
It's central on the existing rail line, between stations at Hartlepool and Seaham.
It's near the main residential centre of Peterlee, and would serve Horden, Peterlee, Shotton Colliery, Easington Colliery, Easington Village and Blackhall Colliery.
Based on the population size of the area, it is estimated that it could generate over 71,000 trips a year from and to the rail station.
A range of sites in Horden have been assessed and we have been working with Network Rail and other key transport stakeholders to identify a preferred viable site.
The preferred site at South East View was chosen based on its suitability and how accessible it is.
Benefits of this site
level ground and large open site
space for a large car park to be located next to the station
potential opportunity to extend bus service into the station
good road access into the station
As part of the development of the station we are looking to enhance existing footpaths, cycleways and bus services. The initial plan proposals are outlined below.
To the north it is anticipated direct trains will stop at Seaham, Sunderland, Heworth, Newcastle and Hexham. To the south direct trains will stop at Hartlepool, Seaton Carew, Billingham, Stockton, Thornaby, Middlesbrough, James Cook, Marton, Gypsy Lane and Nunthorpe. Confirmation of stops is subject to further detailed talks with the train operator (Arriva North) and these discussions will include other destinations.
Interchange opportunities with the Metro are available at Sunderland Heworth and Newcastle.
Conversations are ongoing regarding the possibility of trains going to London making stops at Horden.
In line with the current timetable run by the train operator on the Durham Coast Line, it is anticipated there will be an hourly service in each direction.
Who will use the station?
Based on a detailed demand forecasting it is anticipated that there will be over 71,000 trips per year to and from the station. The demand forecasting work has considered a number of variables at the origin and destination stations, including population demographics, rail competiveness against bus/car and job availability.
How much is it going to cost?
We have been awarded £4.4 million by The Department for Transport from its New Stations Fund to help pay for the new halt in East Durham.
In total the scheme will cost £10.55 million, with the rest of the money being put forward by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (who has contributed £3.34m of local growth funding) and ourselves (the remaining £2.18m).