CAMPAIGNERS who want the historic rail link from York to Hull through Beverley reopened have claimed another victory after they received further support for the cause.
The Minsters Rail Campaign said the board of Community Rail Humber (CRH), which includes representatives of Network Rail, train-operating companies and local authorities, has backed proposals to re-establish the connection. The board was responding to a presentation made to it by members of the campaign group.
David Walford, a sub-regional rail development officer at the Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council, which aims to improve the efficiency of the rail network through the Community Rail Humber project, said: “Although the CRH board predominantly deals with the current infrastructure and services, it is important that they keep abreast of future plans and aspirations.
“The scheme to directly link Hull and Beverley with York could have far-reaching economic benefits to the region and many members (of the board) asked searching questions as to the latest data available.” George McManus, chairman of the Minsters Rail Campaign (MRC), said: “I can’t understate the importance of support from rail experts in our region. These are the people who are responsible for the existing railways in our area.
“They are already delivering a successful and expanding service to the people of our region.
“With their support we can now go one step further towards making our vision a reality.”
He said the campaigners were trying to find funding to enable them to carry out a detailed engineering study costing about £500,000.
He said the results of the inquiry would give them the basis for a business plan to reopen the line, which they hope would also serve Stamford Bridge, Pocklington and Market Weighton. He believes resurrecting the route would cost about £240 million.
The Press reported last month how East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s cabinet agreed to recommend the scheme to the Local Government Authority for consideration by the Government.
The MRC has argued previously that the reopened rail line would help improve safety on the busy A1079 York-to-Hull road.
Mr McManus said last October the move would help cut the “shocking” death toll on the road.
The Department for Transport has said reopening lines is not necessary to meet rising demand for rail travel, but said councils in the area could fund reopenings if they believed it would alleviate transport issues.