York to Hull rail route blow for campaigners

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

Campaigners who want a rail line to be reopened between York and Hull say a decision over the region’s planning blueprint is “devastating” for the scheme.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has not included the route through Stamford Bridge, Pocklington, Market Weighton and Beverley in its Local Plan, which outlines how the area will be developed up to 2029, saying there is no guarantee the project could be delivered during that time.

The Minsters’ Rail Campaign said not safeguarding land for the line – which closed in 1965 – would mean houses being built on it instead, escalating costs and less chance of it being reopened, with its chairman George McManus criticising the lack of council support.

Coun Symon Fraser, the authority’s portfolio holder for environment, housing and planning, said he wanted the scheme to happen, but it could now cost about £350 million and was not currently feasible.

The Local Plan decision was made at a council meeting this week at which campaigners protested, and Mr McManus said: “It’s a devastating blow, and it’s also devastating to hear councillors talk about the line in terms of something which might happen in 30 or 40 years.

“Future generations are being let down, and if development is allowed along the identified route for the line, the costs will rise. The message this sends to the public and potential investors is that the council does not believe this will happen in our lifetime.”

The council said the Local Plan could only include schemes classed as “deliverable” by 2029, and as the rail line did not meet this criteria, its inclusion could mean the plan being deemed “unsound” by the Government. It said it believed the A1079 could accommodate extra traffic stemming from new housing if improvements are made.

Coun Fraser said that if the line could be funded in the future an alternative route could be assessed, but the council could not allow it to “inhibit” development around major towns. He said: “I would like to see the line reinstated, in the right place, at a time when we can afford it, but if we could get £350 million of Government funding, I feel our focus should be on flood protection.

“The line is a great idea - it is just not a great idea at the moment.”

Comments (8)

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10:17am Fri 10 Jan 14

again says...

Good old Short-sighted British Planning!
Good old Short-sighted British Planning! again
  • Score: 12

11:23am Fri 10 Jan 14

TCJYork says...

A terrible, terrible mistake.

I fear that Mr Alexander has his sights too firmly set on becoming a suburb of Leeds rather than being a hub for the market towns around York, North and East Yorkshire.

Towns such as Pocklington and Market Weighton could and should be expanded to meet housing needs and would be excellent commuter towns for York with this railway line.

Let's do a little bit of 'back of a fag packet' maths here...

The building of the line would add £15,000 in value to the 20,000 homes along the route that would benefit of the improved access to York and Hull.

That's £300 million of value from that alone...

Lost hours on the A1079 must be huge. An appalling, not fit for purpose route between York and Hull which is crippled by farm traffic, HGVs from Hull and accidents - mailnly because it's not dualled.
A terrible, terrible mistake. I fear that Mr Alexander has his sights too firmly set on becoming a suburb of Leeds rather than being a hub for the market towns around York, North and East Yorkshire. Towns such as Pocklington and Market Weighton could and should be expanded to meet housing needs and would be excellent commuter towns for York with this railway line. Let's do a little bit of 'back of a fag packet' maths here... The building of the line would add £15,000 in value to the 20,000 homes along the route that would benefit of the improved access to York and Hull. That's £300 million of value from that alone... Lost hours on the A1079 must be huge. An appalling, not fit for purpose route between York and Hull which is crippled by farm traffic, HGVs from Hull and accidents - mailnly because it's not dualled. TCJYork
  • Score: 14

11:33am Fri 10 Jan 14

OLD - HEAD says...

It was a good idea, but the overall expenditure means that we are unlikely to ever see this line re-open again. The real mistake was made in 1965 when the line was closed. For that was a short-sighted decision. It did not take into consideration the areas possible expansion, and its needs for a railway line.
It was a good idea, but the overall expenditure means that we are unlikely to ever see this line re-open again. The real mistake was made in 1965 when the line was closed. For that was a short-sighted decision. It did not take into consideration the areas possible expansion, and its needs for a railway line. OLD - HEAD
  • Score: 12

12:09pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Fat Harry says...

TCJYork wrote:
A terrible, terrible mistake. I fear that Mr Alexander has his sights too firmly set on becoming a suburb of Leeds rather than being a hub for the market towns around York, North and East Yorkshire. Towns such as Pocklington and Market Weighton could and should be expanded to meet housing needs and would be excellent commuter towns for York with this railway line. Let's do a little bit of 'back of a fag packet' maths here... The building of the line would add £15,000 in value to the 20,000 homes along the route that would benefit of the improved access to York and Hull. That's £300 million of value from that alone... Lost hours on the A1079 must be huge. An appalling, not fit for purpose route between York and Hull which is crippled by farm traffic, HGVs from Hull and accidents - mailnly because it's not dualled.
What Mr Alexander has or does not have his sights set upon is irrelevant here; this is a decision taken by the Conservative-run East Riding council, not the City of York council.
[quote][p][bold]TCJYork[/bold] wrote: A terrible, terrible mistake. I fear that Mr Alexander has his sights too firmly set on becoming a suburb of Leeds rather than being a hub for the market towns around York, North and East Yorkshire. Towns such as Pocklington and Market Weighton could and should be expanded to meet housing needs and would be excellent commuter towns for York with this railway line. Let's do a little bit of 'back of a fag packet' maths here... The building of the line would add £15,000 in value to the 20,000 homes along the route that would benefit of the improved access to York and Hull. That's £300 million of value from that alone... Lost hours on the A1079 must be huge. An appalling, not fit for purpose route between York and Hull which is crippled by farm traffic, HGVs from Hull and accidents - mailnly because it's not dualled.[/p][/quote]What Mr Alexander has or does not have his sights set upon is irrelevant here; this is a decision taken by the Conservative-run East Riding council, not the City of York council. Fat Harry
  • Score: 8

2:36pm Fri 10 Jan 14

bravo whisky says...

Never mind quibbling over local politics, anyone travelling on the 1079 to Hull at 0800hrs can see the horrendous queues of traffic coming towards York. Something needs to be done, the rail line between York and Hull needs reinstating, and we are still waiting for a station to be resurrected at Haxby, just shows all three of the main political parties are not serious about getting people onto trains rather than driving.
Never mind quibbling over local politics, anyone travelling on the 1079 to Hull at 0800hrs can see the horrendous queues of traffic coming towards York. Something needs to be done, the rail line between York and Hull needs reinstating, and we are still waiting for a station to be resurrected at Haxby, just shows all three of the main political parties are not serious about getting people onto trains rather than driving. bravo whisky
  • Score: 9

11:27pm Fri 10 Jan 14

greenmonkey says...

bravo whisky wrote:
Never mind quibbling over local politics, anyone travelling on the 1079 to Hull at 0800hrs can see the horrendous queues of traffic coming towards York. Something needs to be done, the rail line between York and Hull needs reinstating, and we are still waiting for a station to be resurrected at Haxby, just shows all three of the main political parties are not serious about getting people onto trains rather than driving.
Too true - meeting today of both York MPS and all the parties on CYC talking about funding bids for the outer ring road never mentioned Haxby station. Talk of a 'united front' bid to the government for the money is clearly going to go nowhere but everyone engaged with it because they think its what their electorate expects of them! The £350m needed for the only option that would make a serious difference to congestion (grade separated junctions and dual carriageway) is nowhere in prospect but all the main parties keep up the pretence that they are doing everything they can to secure it. In contrast £4.6m over 3 years is what is being spent in the north of York to work with individual households identifying how better bus and cycling facilities could save them time and money stuck in traffic jams on a daily basis. Also coming out of that is the cycle route from Haxby to Clifton Moor including a new bridge over the railway. Compare that with some £2m cost for the new A59 roundabout!
[quote][p][bold]bravo whisky[/bold] wrote: Never mind quibbling over local politics, anyone travelling on the 1079 to Hull at 0800hrs can see the horrendous queues of traffic coming towards York. Something needs to be done, the rail line between York and Hull needs reinstating, and we are still waiting for a station to be resurrected at Haxby, just shows all three of the main political parties are not serious about getting people onto trains rather than driving.[/p][/quote]Too true - meeting today of both York MPS and all the parties on CYC talking about funding bids for the outer ring road never mentioned Haxby station. Talk of a 'united front' bid to the government for the money is clearly going to go nowhere but everyone engaged with it because they think its what their electorate expects of them! The £350m needed for the only option that would make a serious difference to congestion (grade separated junctions and dual carriageway) is nowhere in prospect but all the main parties keep up the pretence that they are doing everything they can to secure it. In contrast £4.6m over 3 years is what is being spent in the north of York to work with individual households identifying how better bus and cycling facilities could save them time and money stuck in traffic jams on a daily basis. Also coming out of that is the cycle route from Haxby to Clifton Moor including a new bridge over the railway. Compare that with some £2m cost for the new A59 roundabout! greenmonkey
  • Score: 0

6:23pm Sat 11 Jan 14

TCJYork says...

Fat Harry wrote:
TCJYork wrote:
A terrible, terrible mistake. I fear that Mr Alexander has his sights too firmly set on becoming a suburb of Leeds rather than being a hub for the market towns around York, North and East Yorkshire. Towns such as Pocklington and Market Weighton could and should be expanded to meet housing needs and would be excellent commuter towns for York with this railway line. Let's do a little bit of 'back of a fag packet' maths here... The building of the line would add £15,000 in value to the 20,000 homes along the route that would benefit of the improved access to York and Hull. That's £300 million of value from that alone... Lost hours on the A1079 must be huge. An appalling, not fit for purpose route between York and Hull which is crippled by farm traffic, HGVs from Hull and accidents - mailnly because it's not dualled.
What Mr Alexander has or does not have his sights set upon is irrelevant here; this is a decision taken by the Conservative-run East Riding council, not the City of York council.
Are you saying that Mr Alexander does not speak to neighbouring councils about local area development plans?

Because he seems to get on with the folks over in the rest of the 'Leeds City Region' quite well.
[quote][p][bold]Fat Harry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]TCJYork[/bold] wrote: A terrible, terrible mistake. I fear that Mr Alexander has his sights too firmly set on becoming a suburb of Leeds rather than being a hub for the market towns around York, North and East Yorkshire. Towns such as Pocklington and Market Weighton could and should be expanded to meet housing needs and would be excellent commuter towns for York with this railway line. Let's do a little bit of 'back of a fag packet' maths here... The building of the line would add £15,000 in value to the 20,000 homes along the route that would benefit of the improved access to York and Hull. That's £300 million of value from that alone... Lost hours on the A1079 must be huge. An appalling, not fit for purpose route between York and Hull which is crippled by farm traffic, HGVs from Hull and accidents - mailnly because it's not dualled.[/p][/quote]What Mr Alexander has or does not have his sights set upon is irrelevant here; this is a decision taken by the Conservative-run East Riding council, not the City of York council.[/p][/quote]Are you saying that Mr Alexander does not speak to neighbouring councils about local area development plans? Because he seems to get on with the folks over in the rest of the 'Leeds City Region' quite well. TCJYork
  • Score: 0

4:34am Mon 13 Jan 14

Magicman! says...

Oh yeah, don't include a possible railway line but instead expect all those extra cars to go onto the A1079... REAL wise move there.

Honestly, sometimes I think Kermit the Frog could do a better job at running some local councils!!



It sounds to me as if the council are looking at the route as a "self contained" development - just between Hull, Beverley and York. This happened in Lancashire a few years ago when calls were made for the Bolton-Blackburn line to be made twin-track again, they looked at it just for how it would benefit bolton to blackburn, and the cost/benefit ratio wasn't enough to merit development. Widen the lens, and look at the bigger picture:- a york to beverley line has the potential to slash Hull to York train times to 40 minutes, perhaps even 30 if the track and signalling were good enough... compared to the current time via Selby of roughly 60 minutes; and that time via selby is NOT going to improve unless the entire line was ripped up, rebedded, resignalled, and relaid with new welded rail (and if that was going to be done, then why not build the beverly line, as the costs would be very similar). So with quicker intercity times, this then opens the york-beverly route up to bigger possibilities: building the spur to Driffield for trains direct to Bridlington, then linking this onto a service that terminates in York (currently the service from Blackpool... but Arriva has stated interest in running trains from Llandudno to Bradford, if the line to Bridlington was in place then this service could go there - the result being the ultimate coast-to-coast express train service); continue express trains from Hull onward to Manchester and the airport.... or even go full tilt and rebuild the skipton-colne line and have express trains from Hull to Preston/Blackpool/Wi
ndermere via York, Leeds and Skipton.... Once you look at the possible payback of a wider scheme like that, then it doesn't look quite so "economically unviable"
Oh yeah, don't include a possible railway line but instead expect all those extra cars to go onto the A1079... REAL wise move there. Honestly, sometimes I think Kermit the Frog could do a better job at running some local councils!! It sounds to me as if the council are looking at the route as a "self contained" development - just between Hull, Beverley and York. This happened in Lancashire a few years ago when calls were made for the Bolton-Blackburn line to be made twin-track again, they looked at it just for how it would benefit bolton to blackburn, and the cost/benefit ratio wasn't enough to merit development. Widen the lens, and look at the bigger picture:- a york to beverley line has the potential to slash Hull to York train times to 40 minutes, perhaps even 30 if the track and signalling were good enough... compared to the current time via Selby of roughly 60 minutes; and that time via selby is NOT going to improve unless the entire line was ripped up, rebedded, resignalled, and relaid with new welded rail (and if that was going to be done, then why not build the beverly line, as the costs would be very similar). So with quicker intercity times, this then opens the york-beverly route up to bigger possibilities: building the spur to Driffield for trains direct to Bridlington, then linking this onto a service that terminates in York (currently the service from Blackpool... but Arriva has stated interest in running trains from Llandudno to Bradford, if the line to Bridlington was in place then this service could go there - the result being the ultimate coast-to-coast express train service); continue express trains from Hull onward to Manchester and the airport.... or even go full tilt and rebuild the skipton-colne line and have express trains from Hull to Preston/Blackpool/Wi ndermere via York, Leeds and Skipton.... Once you look at the possible payback of a wider scheme like that, then it doesn't look quite so "economically unviable" Magicman!
  • Score: 0

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