Transport Secretary Chris Grayling visited Newcastle last week to discuss local transport issues with Conservative candidate Owen Meredith.
Transport and investment in local infrastructure form a key plank of Owen’s six-point action plan for Newcastle, including extending upgrade works on the M6 and a feasibility study on improving Newcastle’s rail connectivity.
Speaking after the visit Owen said:
“I was delighted to welcome the Transport Secretary to Newcastle. This demonstrates how a Conservative MP for our town can have the ear of government and lobby ministers directly to deliver for Newcastle.
“I’ve raised my concerns with Mr Grayling that Newcastle is missing out on transport investment, while neighbouring areas benefit. Notably, the M6 through Junction 15 and 16 is being ignored in the current scheme of upgrade works that will see the motorway upgraded to a smart motorway scheme, both north and south of us, while our section is left as a bottle-neck.
“I’ve also highlighted that Newcastle is the second largest town in the country without a train station. With HS2 running nearby, investment at Keele University expanding the Science and Innovation Park, and a plan to bring more jobs and investment here following Brexit, we need better rail connectivity in our town to help meet our potential.
“Mr Grayling has agreed to look in to the matters and see what can be done to ensure Newcastle doesn’t miss out in future. If I am elected on June 8th I will be lobbying the Department of Transport and Mr Grayling to ensure Newcastle and North Staffordshire enjoys the benefits of this kind of investment.”
Mr Grayling also confirmed that HS2 trains would stop at Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford and Crewe, with HS2 delivering more capacity and releasing space on the West Coast Main Line. This will help make the case for a feasibility study on Newcastle having a new train station connected to the West Coast Main Line.