A LONG-AWAITED new railway station for Haxby could get the go-ahead next month after city leaders bid for a share of £20 million.

City of York Council will find out next month whether it has succeeded in securing support from Network Rail towards the station, which would provide better rail links for more than 22,000 people within a three-miles radius. Haxby has been without its own station since the 1930s.

The proposed station would cost between £5.3 million and £7.4 million, with the council providing about 25 per cent of the funding. Network Rail has a national pot to help pay for new stations. The Haxby proposals focus on a site south of the existing level crossing on Station Road and include a 90-space car park.

If the bid succeeds, construction could start in 2015, with services running to the centre of York, Scarborough, Leeds, Manchester and other stations. Residents who have campaigned for better rail links were last night attending a meeting at Wigginton Recreation Hall about the latest developments.

Coun Dave Merrett, the city council’s cabinet member for transport and planning issues, said: “It has been our vision to build a new station at Haxby for many years, so we are excited to announce we are developing our business case which we hope will place York in the best position to be selected for this funding.

“There is a relatively limited pot of money, so there are no guarantees we will be successful on this, but it would make a big difference in travel terms for the large number of York residents in the Haxby and Wigginton area.”

Last night’s meeting, chaired by David Wells of campaign group Railfuture, was also attended by York Outer MP Julian Sturdy, who has held a series of round-table meetings, from which recommendations include improved rail links for York villages. He said: “I welcome the council’s announcement and am really pleased the tireless efforts of the campaigners are beginning to pay off.

“I will be making representations to the Government in support of the bid to outline the hugely beneficial effect a new station could have on my constituents’ quality of life.”

Haxby Town Council member David Rice said the local population was larger than Malton, which has a station, and said: “The town council has always been in favour of a new station, and hopefully this will be a positive step towards giving Haxby and Wigginton residents another form of transport.”