A RAIL campaign group has welcomed plans for a new station in Haxby as a consultation deadline looms.

The ambition to have a station at Haxby, has been held for many years and, as part of City of York Council’s corporate plan - ‘Making History, Building Communities’ - the authority wants to gather feedback from the community in a bid to the Department for Transport’s New Station Fund 3, announced earlier this year.

Nina Smith, chairman of Railfuture’s Yorkshire Branch, said: “About time too. It is extraordinary that Haxby does not already have a railway station.

“A station in Haxby would serve one of the most populated residential areas in Yorkshire currently without a station. A station would considerably reduce car commuting from Haxby into York, thus easing congestion and contributing to lower carbon emissions and better air quality. It would make leisure travel much easier, whether to go shopping in York or to connect with a train service to destinations further afield. In the opposite direction, it would enable local residents to easily access Scarborough which, as well as being a destination in its own right, has good bus connections to Whitby and rail connections to Bempton for the RSPB seabird reserve, and to Bridlington.”

As previously reported by The Press, an application from the council must be completed by June 5 this year and an announcement on successful bids is planned for the Autumn.

The initial consultation will be carried out online - because of the coronavirus lockdown and timeframe.

Council chiefs say a new station at Haxby would increase connectivity to the semi-rural community north of York, providing faster, more efficient sustainable transport links from Haxby into York, Leeds, Manchester and beyond, as well as linking this area with Malton and Scarborough.

The council wants to gauge public opinion on the principle of a station at Haxby. Its survey also asks for views on a potential location – the site of the old railway station off Station Road – which is being used for bidding purposes at this stage.

Cllr Keith Aspden, leader of City of York Council, said: “I am pleased that, despite the challenges of the current crisis, we are making progress on our ambition to deliver a new rail station in Haxby and improve sustainable transport infrastructure in the city, having already invested £50,000 to develop the outline business case for the new station.”

If the bid is successful, it will be further developed by the council, with guidance from the DfT and Network Rail. It will then be taken through the rail industry processes - and the usual planning process - for delivery.

People can share their views online until Tuesday, May 26 by clicking here.