Schoolchildren head to Parliament to sound South East Northumberland rail campaign

Sharon Bell (Hirst Park Middle School Vice Principal), Kaly Douglas, Dennis Fancett (Chair, SENRUG), Olivia Sprudd, Ian Lavery, Liam Armstrong and Dylan Mackenzie 

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With the aid of four enthusiastic students from Ashington's Hirst Park Middle School, a campaign is underway to bring back passenger services on a Northumberland railway line that once linked Newcastle to Ashington.

After a competition was launched by the South East Northumberland Rail Group SENRUG for a school to help them with the campaign, the chosen entry by Hirst Park Middle's Kaly Douglas, Olivia Sprudd, Liam Armstrong and Dylan Mackenzie enabled them to march to the House of Parliament with the proposals. 

The students travelled to London where they handed over a DVD in which they created, about re-introducing passenger trains, allowing access for commuters on the freight-only Ashington Blyth and Tyne railway line.   

The well named short film, 'A First Class Future' informs how the local areas would greatly benefit, should the services from Newcastle to Ashington were to be re-ignited. The plans are to run an hourly passenger service between Ashington and Newcastle, then half-hourly at peak times. 

On arrival at Westminster, I greeted our wonderful students, making sure they knew what a truly magnificent job they had done. I've been advised that all the entries from our schools were to a very high standard, but theirs stood out as exceptional.   

I firmly believe in this terrific campaign and hopefully working alongside Dennis Fancett the SENRUG Chairman, we can hopefully one day re-open and allow the new generation of young people to think and have a bigger say on South East Northumberland's transport for year to come.