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Houchen takes a different route to boost Tees Valley economy

Not convinced of the need for new rail lines and unconcerned by car use levels, Ben Houchen strikes a different note to other Northern England city region mayors – but then he is the only Conservative among them. Lee Baker hears about his push for hydrogen transport, a metro service for a growing airport and bookable buses for commutes

16 December 2021
Ben Houchen
Ben Houchen
The mayor hopes a Darlington station upgrade will unlock higher frequencies
The mayor hopes a Darlington station upgrade will unlock higher frequencies


Ben Houchen is not your traditional high profile northern politician. He’s a Conservative. And he won 72% of the vote in May standing for re-election in his patch of North East England and as a Conservative in a traditionally solid Labour area. He has even inspired some to attempt to name an ideology after him. 

‘Houchenism’ has been described as offering a practical mix of intervening in markets and de-regulating. The common theme for him, whether it is nationalising the...

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