Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has written to the Tees Valley Mayor to call for Tees Valley Combined Authority funding to improve accessibility to Billingham Railway Station.
Billingham Railway Station is the only station in the Tees Valley without any form of step-free access to any platform, and accessibility issues have been raised for a number of years to no avail. Now, with the Tees Valley Combined Authority receiving delegated budget for transport, Alex has requested that it look at using some of this funding to carry out necessary improvements.
In his letter to the Tees Valley Mayor, Alex wrote that while Billingham requires a “relatively low cost scheme” compared to the plans for Middlesbrough and Darlington, “if delegated budgets are for anything, they are to deliver for all the people we represent”. The Tees Valley Mayor has responded positively, stating that an application to the Department for Transport’s “Access for All” fund has been submitted by Stockton on Tees Borough Council, and will be considered through the TVCA’s procedures.
I welcome the news that Stockton Council have submitted these proposals, and that the Tees Valley Combined Authority will now consider these plans. Our duty to people with disabilities is extremely important, and a project to correct failures of the past at Billingham would be very welcome.
Alex will now be writing to all five leaders of the local authorities that make up the Tees Valley Combined Authority to seek their support – as such a request would need majority support should it go the Cabinet.