Rail campaigners urge councillors not to develop on former York to Hull rail line

FLASHBACK: February 2004 and George McManus, the then mayor of Pocklington, with the founder of Minsters’ Rail Campaign, Philip Taylor, on the old Pocklington-York rail line, part of the York-Hull line, with the Pocklington engine sheds in the backgroun

FLASHBACK: February 2004 and George McManus, the then mayor of Pocklington, with the founder of Minsters’ Rail Campaign, Philip Taylor, on the old Pocklington-York rail line, part of the York-Hull line, with the Pocklington engine sheds in the backgroun

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

CAMPAIGNERS whose hopes of securing the revival of a rail line between York and Hull hang in the balance are to call on councillors to leave the door open for its reopening.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s draft Local Plan, mapping the development of the region up to 2029, will be discussed by the authority next week, with officials saying some of the land which would be used for the railway should be earmarked for new homes.

The Minsters’ Rail Campaign, which wants the route between the two cities via Beverley to be brought back into use after it was axed in the mid-1960s, said this would be “short-sighted” as new transport infrastructure will be needed to cope with population growth.

Its chairman, George McManus, has tabled a question at next Wednesday’s meeting asking councillors to agree the scheme could be delivered by 2029 if funding becomes available.

The council has said the expected cost of the line – put at £240 million in a 2005 feasibility study – meant it would not be possible during the plan’s timeframe, and only “deliverable” projects can be included in the document under Government guidelines. The campaigners will hold a demonstration outside County Hall in Beverley ahead of the council meeting.

“All we are asking for is for the status quo to be maintained and the route not to be developed under the Local Plan,” said Mr McManus. “If funding becomes available before 2029, we will have a feasible route for the line.

“There are development pressures, especially at some of the sites identified for stations, but if this land is built on and funding then emerges, the feasibility aspect of this scheme will have been lost.”

Mr McManus said similar rail schemes in Scotland and between Oxford and Bedfordshire were being progressed or had received funding, while local authorities in Sussex and Devon had protected proposed rail routes from development.

The council has said it is “broadly supportive” of the line but cannot include it in the Local Plan as the document may then be deemed “unsound” when it goes before a Government planning inspector in spring, due to uncertainty about whether the line can be built by 2029.

Comments (13)

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11:02am Fri 3 Jan 14

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

A case of trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted. Look (or at least try to look) at the former track bed in Huntingdon, Pocklington and Market Weighton: it's solid with housing. Knocking this lot down would cost a fortune - as would a bridge over the A64. On almost all of the Scottish 'Borders Railway' and all of the the Oxford/Bedfordshire route, the trackbed has been reserved.
A case of trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted. Look (or at least try to look) at the former track bed in Huntingdon, Pocklington and Market Weighton: it's solid with housing. Knocking this lot down would cost a fortune - as would a bridge over the A64. On almost all of the Scottish 'Borders Railway' and all of the the Oxford/Bedfordshire route, the trackbed has been reserved. Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 11

11:15am Fri 3 Jan 14

3.8liter says...

Forget it, won't happen. Absolutly no chance.
Forget it, won't happen. Absolutly no chance. 3.8liter
  • Score: 9

1:12pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Garrowby Turnoff says...

Anyone who travels to Hull from York on the terrifying A1079 knows where the priority money should be spent. The road is desperate for upgrading, yet these campaigners seem intent on clouding the transport issues with unsustainable whimsical schemes such as this.
Anyone who travels to Hull from York on the terrifying A1079 knows where the priority money should be spent. The road is desperate for upgrading, yet these campaigners seem intent on clouding the transport issues with unsustainable whimsical schemes such as this. Garrowby Turnoff
  • Score: 9

1:38pm Fri 3 Jan 14

YorkPatrol says...

Garrowby Turnoff wrote:
Anyone who travels to Hull from York on the terrifying A1079 knows where the priority money should be spent. The road is desperate for upgrading, yet these campaigners seem intent on clouding the transport issues with unsustainable whimsical schemes such as this.
I’m surprised York council haven’t put a proposal forward for a cycle path from York to Hull to get the commuters out of thier cars
[quote][p][bold]Garrowby Turnoff[/bold] wrote: Anyone who travels to Hull from York on the terrifying A1079 knows where the priority money should be spent. The road is desperate for upgrading, yet these campaigners seem intent on clouding the transport issues with unsustainable whimsical schemes such as this.[/p][/quote]I’m surprised York council haven’t put a proposal forward for a cycle path from York to Hull to get the commuters out of thier cars YorkPatrol
  • Score: 2

2:15pm Fri 3 Jan 14

again says...

Of course it would make sense to build a railway linking York, Hull and the communities in between.

Unfortunately where there is a chance for short term gain, long term planning often goes out of the window.

Cars are an essentially selfish form of transport and a railway benefitting communities does have a future. Especially in a country where the population is ageing and there will be an increasing number of people who depend on it.
Of course it would make sense to build a railway linking York, Hull and the communities in between. Unfortunately where there is a chance for short term gain, long term planning often goes out of the window. Cars are an essentially selfish form of transport and a railway benefitting communities does have a future. Especially in a country where the population is ageing and there will be an increasing number of people who depend on it. again
  • Score: 9

4:30pm Fri 3 Jan 14

Caecilius says...

Garrowby Turnoff wrote:
Anyone who travels to Hull from York on the terrifying A1079 knows where the priority money should be spent. The road is desperate for upgrading, yet these campaigners seem intent on clouding the transport issues with unsustainable whimsical schemes such as this.
There's no future in continually chucking taxpayers' money away on 'upgrading' roads only for them to be jammed with traffic again in a few years' time. That's what's unsustainable.
[quote][p][bold]Garrowby Turnoff[/bold] wrote: Anyone who travels to Hull from York on the terrifying A1079 knows where the priority money should be spent. The road is desperate for upgrading, yet these campaigners seem intent on clouding the transport issues with unsustainable whimsical schemes such as this.[/p][/quote]There's no future in continually chucking taxpayers' money away on 'upgrading' roads only for them to be jammed with traffic again in a few years' time. That's what's unsustainable. Caecilius
  • Score: 2

5:18pm Fri 3 Jan 14

George Michael McManus says...

Thanks for your comments, albeit that some are ill-informed. Minsters' Rail Campaign isn't an anti road campaign. We are a pro rail campaign. Where sensible iroad mprovements are needed these should be delivered.

Also the primary beneficiaries would not be the A1079 communities but Beverley, Cottingham and Bridlington who would see enormous benefits of having a direct rail link to York.

Regarding the route, the one identified in the feasibility study does not include the original alignment in Pocklington, Market Weighton or Huntington so there would be ne demolition. Before criticising our plans please at least check out what they are.

There would also be significant benefit to York and Hull. It's crazy that 2 of Yorkshire's most important cities do not have a direct rail link. Connecting York to the ferry terminal would link York directly to Europe and the new offshore industries.

Finally to say it will never happen belies the fact that lines are re-opening in other parts of the country. What we are missing is the vision necessary to build the sort of infrastructure we will need for the next century. Funding could become available but if development obstacles are put in the way then the bar, and the costs will be set much higher. It is this golden opportunity that we do not want to lose because of short term, bad planning decisions.
Thanks for your comments, albeit that some are ill-informed. Minsters' Rail Campaign isn't an anti road campaign. We are a pro rail campaign. Where sensible iroad mprovements are needed these should be delivered. Also the primary beneficiaries would not be the A1079 communities but Beverley, Cottingham and Bridlington who would see enormous benefits of having a direct rail link to York. Regarding the route, the one identified in the feasibility study does not include the original alignment in Pocklington, Market Weighton or Huntington so there would be ne demolition. Before criticising our plans please at least check out what they are. There would also be significant benefit to York and Hull. It's crazy that 2 of Yorkshire's most important cities do not have a direct rail link. Connecting York to the ferry terminal would link York directly to Europe and the new offshore industries. Finally to say it will never happen belies the fact that lines are re-opening in other parts of the country. What we are missing is the vision necessary to build the sort of infrastructure we will need for the next century. Funding could become available but if development obstacles are put in the way then the bar, and the costs will be set much higher. It is this golden opportunity that we do not want to lose because of short term, bad planning decisions. George Michael McManus
  • Score: 17

2:24am Sat 4 Jan 14

RicPou says...

It is many years, 40 odd, since I periodically used the 1079 from Beverley to York. Not a bad road but it must be congested during the peaks. This was one of many Beeching cuts that left intermediate communities isolated and made interurban journeys that much more difficult; Hull to York via Selby was no joke.
But this is costly scheme and can only come to fruition if ALL local councils protect the trackbed, no more development, neither commercial nor housing. Where development has taken place, small commercial premises can be relocated, but lots of houses; no way! BR Residual and DafT have gone out of their way to fragment alignments, as with the Borders scheme,with a seeming determination to ensure the line does not reopen.
It is many years, 40 odd, since I periodically used the 1079 from Beverley to York. Not a bad road but it must be congested during the peaks. This was one of many Beeching cuts that left intermediate communities isolated and made interurban journeys that much more difficult; Hull to York via Selby was no joke. But this is costly scheme and can only come to fruition if ALL local councils protect the trackbed, no more development, neither commercial nor housing. Where development has taken place, small commercial premises can be relocated, but lots of houses; no way! BR Residual and DafT have gone out of their way to fragment alignments, as with the Borders scheme,with a seeming determination to ensure the line does not reopen. RicPou
  • Score: 3

4:48am Sat 4 Jan 14

Magicman! says...

Garrowby Turnoff wrote:
Anyone who travels to Hull from York on the terrifying A1079 knows where the priority money should be spent. The road is desperate for upgrading, yet these campaigners seem intent on clouding the transport issues with unsustainable whimsical schemes such as this.
If there was a decent railway link with trains taking 30-40 minutes instead of the current time (an hour or more), then there would be less cars on the A1079 and so by default would then become safer.
[quote][p][bold]Garrowby Turnoff[/bold] wrote: Anyone who travels to Hull from York on the terrifying A1079 knows where the priority money should be spent. The road is desperate for upgrading, yet these campaigners seem intent on clouding the transport issues with unsustainable whimsical schemes such as this.[/p][/quote]If there was a decent railway link with trains taking 30-40 minutes instead of the current time (an hour or more), then there would be less cars on the A1079 and so by default would then become safer. Magicman!
  • Score: 5

4:53am Sat 4 Jan 14

Magicman! says...

again wrote:
Of course it would make sense to build a railway linking York, Hull and the communities in between.

Unfortunately where there is a chance for short term gain, long term planning often goes out of the window.

Cars are an essentially selfish form of transport and a railway benefitting communities does have a future. Especially in a country where the population is ageing and there will be an increasing number of people who depend on it.
Exactly... at the York end it wouldn't be hard to tie in a new line - just run it off the Scarborough line after Towthorpe Road crossing (Haxby), past Towthorpe and over Strensall Road and the A64 at Hazlebush, at which point it then meets the original trackbed at the eastern end of Stockton on the Forest, on the Warthill road. I have seen ERYDC plans from a while back showing their proposed route around Stamford Bridge and where the new station would be, and there were even plans for getting around the other developed parts of the trackbed.

It would be unbelieveably foolish to build houses on the railway trackbed... because what they would then be doing is increasing the amount of cars on roads such as the A1079 several time over and at the same time removing any possible means of alternative travel methods - a double blow. And in the current climate where train travel is on the verge of another heyday, such actions to permanently delete any hopes of a route revival should be looked upon with disgust and abhorrence.
[quote][p][bold]again[/bold] wrote: Of course it would make sense to build a railway linking York, Hull and the communities in between. Unfortunately where there is a chance for short term gain, long term planning often goes out of the window. Cars are an essentially selfish form of transport and a railway benefitting communities does have a future. Especially in a country where the population is ageing and there will be an increasing number of people who depend on it.[/p][/quote]Exactly... at the York end it wouldn't be hard to tie in a new line - just run it off the Scarborough line after Towthorpe Road crossing (Haxby), past Towthorpe and over Strensall Road and the A64 at Hazlebush, at which point it then meets the original trackbed at the eastern end of Stockton on the Forest, on the Warthill road. I have seen ERYDC plans from a while back showing their proposed route around Stamford Bridge and where the new station would be, and there were even plans for getting around the other developed parts of the trackbed. It would be unbelieveably foolish to build houses on the railway trackbed... because what they would then be doing is increasing the amount of cars on roads such as the A1079 several time over and at the same time removing any possible means of alternative travel methods - a double blow. And in the current climate where train travel is on the verge of another heyday, such actions to permanently delete any hopes of a route revival should be looked upon with disgust and abhorrence. Magicman!
  • Score: 5

5:01am Sat 4 Jan 14

Magicman! says...

George Michael McManus wrote:
Thanks for your comments, albeit that some are ill-informed. Minsters' Rail Campaign isn't an anti road campaign. We are a pro rail campaign. Where sensible iroad mprovements are needed these should be delivered.

Also the primary beneficiaries would not be the A1079 communities but Beverley, Cottingham and Bridlington who would see enormous benefits of having a direct rail link to York.

Regarding the route, the one identified in the feasibility study does not include the original alignment in Pocklington, Market Weighton or Huntington so there would be ne demolition. Before criticising our plans please at least check out what they are.

There would also be significant benefit to York and Hull. It's crazy that 2 of Yorkshire's most important cities do not have a direct rail link. Connecting York to the ferry terminal would link York directly to Europe and the new offshore industries.

Finally to say it will never happen belies the fact that lines are re-opening in other parts of the country. What we are missing is the vision necessary to build the sort of infrastructure we will need for the next century. Funding could become available but if development obstacles are put in the way then the bar, and the costs will be set much higher. It is this golden opportunity that we do not want to lose because of short term, bad planning decisions.
If I had my way, I would reopen this route AND reopen the missing link between Skipton and Colne - and then run a brand new transpennine express service along it: Hull, Beverley, York, Leeds, Shipley, Keighley, Skipton, Colne, Nelson, Burnley, Acrington, Blackburn, Preston - then a split with some services going to Blackpool, others to Lancaster and ideally Windermere... all electrified of course with track capable of supporting 100mph trains.

But I have absolutely no means of doing this, just a fanciful idea. There are a lot of people who travel cross-pennine and want to avoid Manchester - there are people who drive from Preston to Steeton rail station and get a train to Leeds. Even though parking at Preston is bad, if there was a fast direct rail route, a commuter car park could be developed at Burnley or Nelson for example.... and by attaching the York-Beverley-Hull route (or if the extra spur was built, some express journeys to Bridlington would also operate) to the transpennine core it would then mae the service more viable as opposed to a self-contained Hull-York diagram.... though what I would also do is after the express has departed, a short while later would be an all-stops service - the express would call at Beverley and Pocklington, whilst the all-stops would include Cottingham, Market Weighton, Stamford Bridge, possibly a station at Towthorpe for Strensall, and Haxby in addition to the main stops.
[quote][p][bold]George Michael McManus[/bold] wrote: Thanks for your comments, albeit that some are ill-informed. Minsters' Rail Campaign isn't an anti road campaign. We are a pro rail campaign. Where sensible iroad mprovements are needed these should be delivered. Also the primary beneficiaries would not be the A1079 communities but Beverley, Cottingham and Bridlington who would see enormous benefits of having a direct rail link to York. Regarding the route, the one identified in the feasibility study does not include the original alignment in Pocklington, Market Weighton or Huntington so there would be ne demolition. Before criticising our plans please at least check out what they are. There would also be significant benefit to York and Hull. It's crazy that 2 of Yorkshire's most important cities do not have a direct rail link. Connecting York to the ferry terminal would link York directly to Europe and the new offshore industries. Finally to say it will never happen belies the fact that lines are re-opening in other parts of the country. What we are missing is the vision necessary to build the sort of infrastructure we will need for the next century. Funding could become available but if development obstacles are put in the way then the bar, and the costs will be set much higher. It is this golden opportunity that we do not want to lose because of short term, bad planning decisions.[/p][/quote]If I had my way, I would reopen this route AND reopen the missing link between Skipton and Colne - and then run a brand new transpennine express service along it: Hull, Beverley, York, Leeds, Shipley, Keighley, Skipton, Colne, Nelson, Burnley, Acrington, Blackburn, Preston - then a split with some services going to Blackpool, others to Lancaster and ideally Windermere... all electrified of course with track capable of supporting 100mph trains. But I have absolutely no means of doing this, just a fanciful idea. There are a lot of people who travel cross-pennine and want to avoid Manchester - there are people who drive from Preston to Steeton rail station and get a train to Leeds. Even though parking at Preston is bad, if there was a fast direct rail route, a commuter car park could be developed at Burnley or Nelson for example.... and by attaching the York-Beverley-Hull route (or if the extra spur was built, some express journeys to Bridlington would also operate) to the transpennine core it would then mae the service more viable as opposed to a self-contained Hull-York diagram.... though what I would also do is after the express has departed, a short while later would be an all-stops service - the express would call at Beverley and Pocklington, whilst the all-stops would include Cottingham, Market Weighton, Stamford Bridge, possibly a station at Towthorpe for Strensall, and Haxby in addition to the main stops. Magicman!
  • Score: 4

6:04am Sat 4 Jan 14

the butler says...

The cost and quantities of material, surveying, appropriation, plus the supply of rolling stock have not been estimated or put forward so far, So it is difficult for anyone least of all the public to ask for this to be done when so much is unknown.
Of course it would be a godsend for commerce also the public would consider it a great opportunity to visit the continent where as now there are a great number of obstacles..... the butler
The cost and quantities of material, surveying, appropriation, plus the supply of rolling stock have not been estimated or put forward so far, So it is difficult for anyone least of all the public to ask for this to be done when so much is unknown. Of course it would be a godsend for commerce also the public would consider it a great opportunity to visit the continent where as now there are a great number of obstacles..... the butler the butler
  • Score: 0

8:19pm Sat 4 Jan 14

arglemcgee says...

I'd be interested to know the benefit:cost ratio of this compared to some current projects, ideally of a similar nature, funded by Network Rail.
I'd be interested to know the benefit:cost ratio of this compared to some current projects, ideally of a similar nature, funded by Network Rail. arglemcgee
  • Score: 2

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