Does Middlesbrough Have Good Transport Connections?

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Does Middlesbrough Have Good Transport Connections?
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Middlesbrough holds one of the most strategic locations in the northeast, a hub of activity with a growing population and expanding economy. Nestled on the banks of the River Tees, the town has a large port offering specialist freight logistics across various industries. In addition, Middlesbrough boasts a busy railway station, multiple bus services and primary road connections. There’s even a tiny international airport just 20 20-minute drive away!

In short, whether you’re a resident, commuter, or local business owner, you’ll have easy access to the more expansive Tees Valley, nearby cities, and beyond. All while being just a stone’s throw from the coast and countryside. Sound good? Read on to learn all about Middlesbrough’s public transport connections, including upcoming improvement plans such as the introduction of a new tram system, expansion of the bus network, and potential high-speed rail links.

History of public transport in Middlesbrough

Public transport in Middlesbrough has a rich history, dating back to the 19th century. The town’s railway network, which put it on the map, was a significant development. This was mainly due to the Stockton and Darlington Railway’s expansion into the city in 1830. The route facilitated the movement of goods (namely coal) from Durham to Middlesbrough for exportation and played a big part in urbanising the town. This historical significance is something we can all be proud of.

The first trains

By 1846, the first steam-hauled passenger trains ran on the Middlesbrough and Redcar Railway. The town’s train station was relocated several times before the current, centrally located station opened in 1877. Additionally, Middlesbrough’s Teesport was home to more than cargo ships, offering passenger steamers to London and beyond.

Horse-drawn trams

Additionally, horse-drawn trams were introduced in the 1870s, providing a vital link between different parts of town. These trams, known for their distinctive red colour and wooden interiors, ran on tracks throughout the town, providing residents with a faster mode of public transport.

Electric trams

However, as Middlesbrough grew, so did the need for more efficient and extensive public transport services. As such, electric trams came about in the early 20th century. These trams, with their sleek design and quiet operation, ran on tracks throughout the town, providing residents with an even faster mode of public transport. But the system was eventually dismantled following the rise of buses.

Public transport in Middlesbrough today

Nowadays, buses are the most popular form of public transport in Middlesbrough and the wider Teesside area. However, trains are also well used when travelling between northeast cities or south to London.

You’ll find the bus station situated on Newport Road in central Middlesbrough. It is open seven days a week, with 21 stands for local bus services and extra for national coaches. And only 10 minutes’ walk away, just off Albert Road, is the railway station. Explore some of the critical routes covered by each station below.

Bus services in Middlesbrough

Arriva and Stagecoach, the leading local bus operators in Middlesbrough, offer a wide range of routes. These cover different neighbourhoods across town, ensuring everyone can access the town centre easily. There are also regular services for commuter towns like Stockton, Hartlepool, and Darlington, plus the bigger cities of Newcastle and Durham. Or you could take a trip to Yorkshire’s east coast – the choice is yours.

The variety of destinations accessible from Middlesbrough is sure to spark your interest.

  • 1 – Stagecoach: Middlesbrough, Haverton Hill, Port Clarence, Seaton Carew, Hartlepool (every 15-30 mins)
  • 5 – Arriva: Middlesbrough, North Ormesby, Pallister Park, Cargo Fleet, Ormesby, Guisborough, Skelton, Brotton, Carlin How, Loftus, Easington (every 30 mins)
  • X10 X-lines – Go North East: Middlesbrough, Stockton, Norton, Billingham, Peterlee, Dalton Park, West Boldon, Heworth, Gateshead, Newcastle (every 60 mins)
  • 12 – Stagecoach: Middlesbrough, Linthorpe, Acklam, Hemlington, Coulby Newham (every 15-30 mins)
  • X66 – Arriva: Middlesbrough, Thornaby Station, Stockton, Great Burdon, Harrowgate Hill, North Road, Darlington (every 15-30 mins)

Arriva’s single fares within Middlesbrough are capped at £2 per person, while weekly tickets cost £15. Meanwhile, Teesside Day Tickets are priced at £5.20 and cover all Middlesbrough and Stockton postcodes.

Services to the seaside towns of Scarborough and Whitby also depart from Middlesbrough bus station less frequently, as do affordable Megabus, National Express, and Flixbus coaches heading to London, York, Manchester, and Edinburgh.

Train services in Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough’s central railway station is just a 5-minute walk from the town centre shopping district, near Albert Bridge. Additionally, several small local stations are located at Nunthorpe, Marton and James Cook University Hospital.

These are all located on the Esk Valley Line between Middlesbrough and Whitby, which Northern serves.

Meanwhile, other Northern services can be found at the central railway station. This includes Durham Coast Line trains to Newcastle via Hartlepool and Sunderland, plus Tees Valley Line trains to Bishop Auckland, Darlington and Saltburn.

These services run at regular intervals, with trains departing every 15-30 minutes during peak hours and every hour during off-peak hours.

On top of that, Middlesbrough station also offers TransPennine Express routes to Manchester Airport and LNER services to London. These services run at regular intervals, with trains departing every 30 minutes during peak hours and every hour during off-peak hours.


Direct services to northeast cities:

  • Newcastle: 1hr 20min journey
  • Sunderland: 1hr journey
  • Darlington: 30min journey
  • York: 55min journey
  • Leeds: 1hr 20min journey

Notable: Changing at Darlington can reduce the journey time to Newcastle by around 20 minutes. You can also reach Durham within 55 minutes, but this requires a change at Darlington.

Want to know more about what to expect when you move to Middlesbrough? Please read the complete guide to living in Middlesbrough on our blog.

Before considering the proposed changes to public transport in Middlesbrough, it’s worth considering the town’s road links. Middlesbrough is served by major roads like the A66, which runs through the city and connects it to Stockton and Darlington to the west.

The A19

The A19 is another important road linking Sunderland and Newcastle to the north and Thirsk and York to the south. The A19’s landmark viaduct—the Tees Flyover—offers quick access to nearby towns like Billingham and Hartlepool. Not to mention Wolviston Interchange, where you can cross over to the A1 (M) within 15 minutes to access more major routes.

In addition, the A174, A172, and A171 all run through Middlesbrough. While these roads aren’t quite as major, they do get busy—especially during weekends and school holidays. This is because they connect the town to the East Coast and the North York Moors National Park.

Parking access

Access to parking is key for commuters to Middlesbrough. Many private and council-owned car parks are available, most only a short distance from the centre.

These car parks are strategically located near major transport hubs and commercial areas, making them convenient for both residents and visitors.

Hillstreet Shopping Centre and the Cleveland Centre also have their own multi-storeys, providing ample parking space for shoppers. For longer stays, we’d try Zetland Car Park near the train station. At just £2.50 for 10 hours, it’s the cheapest in town!

Tees Valley Strategic Transport Plan

So what plans are in place to improve Middlesbrough’s public transport connections for the future? According to the Tees Valley Combined Authority Strategic Transport Plan 2020-2030, there are plenty.

Railway Renovation

First, the railway station is being renovated, and a third platform is installed. This will increase the number of direct trains to London and other regional stations. A new station could also be added at Teesside Park, and Teesside Airport stations could be upgraded.

Bus Station Makeovers

Similarly, funding has recently been confirmed to give Middlesbrough bus station a complete makeover. Alongside improved waiting facilities, there are plans to increase coverage to new housing estates and large employment sites – ideal for young professionals.

This should ensure that residents are within 10 minutes’ walk of a regular bus service. Additionally, you can expect more integrated bus and rail services, capped fares and real-time travel updates.

Hop On Hop Off Tram

If that wasn’t enough, a £20m ‘hop on, hop off’ town centre trackless tram development is in the works. There are also hopes that Middlesbrough’s signature Transporter Bridge, which closed in 2019, could be reopened. You can view the full list of transport proposals here.

Want to sell your home in Middlesbrough?

Are you keen to move to another neighbourhood or want to live elsewhere on Teesside? Then the excellent public transport in Middlesbrough could make the transition much simpler! That said, selling a property takes time – incredibly if it’s dated, cramped or in an undesirable area.

So, if you’re not having much luck on the open market, look no further. We can help you sell your flat fast in Middlesbrough, regardless of its condition or location. We also buy terraced homes and more significant properties in as little as 7 days! Curious to know what your home might be worth? Generate a free cash offer online to find out, and we’ll be in touch soon.

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