“Local residents asked me to intervene with Network Rail to see if they would reconsider their plans to demolish the signal boxes at Station Road, Billingham, and Blakeston Lane, Norton. They also asked me to get clarity on the future of other signal boxes in the constituency.
“I share the disappointment that after speaking with Network Rail officials that they will not move from their position, citing the need to demolish the Billingham signal box so they can carry out re-signalling work and construct a new level crossing and pavements which will make the area safer.
“The news is better for other boxes. Norton East, north of Kew Gardens, is a Grade II listed building and will be decommissioned, but remain in place. I’ll now be working with Network Rail and local people to see if we can find community uses for this signal box – and the others across the constituency – and see how we can preserve the box at Norton South on Station Road rather than see it demolished.
“I have also received an undertaking from Network Rail that they will work with the local community to find a permanent home for heritage memorabilia within the signal boxes. If any groups think they can house this memorabilia, I’d ask them to get in touch with me.”
- Signal Box on Station Road, Billingham, due for demolition between 6-9 February.
- Signal Box on Blakeston Lane, Norton (“Norton West”) also due for demolition around the same time.
- Signal Box north of Kew Gardens (“Norton East”) is Grade II listed – Network Rail plans are to use it as storage.
- No plans have been made for the “Norton South” signal box or others in the constituency.