Stoke MP's petition to get Leek - Stoke rail link re-opened to passenger traffic

STOKE-ON-TRENT North Conservative MP Jonathan Gullis has launched a petition to get the 'mothballed' Leek to Stoke railway line re-opened to passenger traffic.

Mr Gullis, who replaced Labour's Ruth Smeeth at the 2019 General Election, says he intends to present the petition to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

He said: "The Government recently recognised that there is indeed a case to look at the re-opening the Stoke-Leek line, and it is important that we know how local people feel about the chance of securing significant local rail investment".

There has been mixed reaction to Mr Gullis' proposal, with a number of people expressing their opposition.

Rob Garner, has responded to Mr Gullis on Facebook: "I don't know how well you know the old line but just the fact that roads, houses, buildings etc have been built close to or on it render it a physically impossibility, even though British Rail still clear the rails and sidings at the Leek Road, Hanley part that's behind Farmfoods."

The first stage of resuming a rail link between Leek and Stoke has already begun, with the re-laying of track between Leek and Leekbrook Junction, which was taken up in 1973.

It is hoped to complete the £1m scheme in the next two years.

The cost of 'Project Connect Leek' is being met with a combination of grant funding, share issuer, community activity and special events.

Greg Wilson, operating director at Churnet Valley Railway, said: "It's been the ambition of the Churnet Valley Railway for many years now to 'Reconnect Leek."

The rail link between Leek and Stoke was operational for passenger traffic until 1956, but remained in use until 1988 for BR freight trains to access the quarries at Cauldon Lowe and Oakamoor.

The line was then "mothballed" for possible future use.

If you want to see the Stoke-Leek line reopened then sign Mr Gullis' petition, using the link below ⬇️…/improve-our-local-public-t…

Picture: The 'mothballed' section of track crossing Leek Road, Abbey Hulton


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