COUNCILLORS have taken the first step to try and reopen the York to Beverley railway line.

At full council East Riding Of Yorkshire Councillors voted overwhelmingly to seek funding to investigate the possibility of re-opening the line.

The line closed in 1965, but the Government has previously revealed plans to expand the rail network nationally.

Conservative Councillor Leo Hammond, whose Wolds Weighton Ward includes a large section of the railway line, has been campaigning for a share of the £500 million that the Government has made available, for feasibility studies, to drive forward the reversal of the controversial Beeching cuts and level up regional economies by enhancing access to education and jobs.

Cllr Hammond said: “I am delighted that the Liberal Democrat Group have decided to support our work with this motion, although I think they have come rather late to the party, but better late than never.

“The re-opening of the railway line from York to Beverley, through Pocklington and Market Weighton, has the potential to make a huge difference to local people and has the added benefit of keeping cars off the roads, reducing emissions and congestion on the A1079.”

Back in 2017The Press reported that York Outer MP Julian Sturdy called on the Government to reopen the line to help ease congestion in York.

The Government committed to working with local authorities and partners to identify the best new rail projects in order to restore capacity and unlock economic growth, Mr Sturdy said.

At the time Mr Sturdy said East Riding of Yorkshire Council recognised the benefits that reopening the line could bring to the wider area. However, the provision of funding for reinstating the route would be a matter for the Department for Transport and Network Rail.

The Government said proposals would be considered based on the economic benefits and business cases put forward by local partners.

Mr Sturdy said: “It is quite clear that traffic pressures on our city are already unmanageable and rail infrastructure will be in keeping with our rural landscape.”