PLANS which could see the reopening of a railway line between York and Beverley have taken a key step forward.

The scheme is one of seven bids to build or reopen lines and stations closed during the Beeching cuts which have now been received by the Government from across Yorkshire and Humber.

The route – which would branch off the existing Hull-Scarborough line to the north of Beverley and also serve Market Weighton, Pocklington, Stamford Bridge and Haxby – would provide significant relief to the congested A1079 for commuters and tourists, boosting job opportunities and tourism in the region.

MPs and local authorities have bid for a share of the second round of the Restoring Your Railway ‘Ideas Fund’, to develop proposals to build or reopen railway lines and stations, including those closed by British Rail chief Dr Richard Beeching from 1963.

The bids will now be considered by an expert panel including Network Rail Chair Sir Peter Hendy, with announcements regarding the successful schemes expected by the end of the summer.

In all, 50 proposals have been submitted from right across the country.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Receiving so many bids once again underlines how passionate people are about reconnecting communities.

“Local MPs, councillors and community leaders are the greatest champions of their local lines, and I look forward to working with them to ensure the projects with the greatest potential have the support they need.

“Improving local transport links is vital as we level up access to opportunities across the country, reconnect communities and kickstart our recovery from Covid-19.”

As part of the Restoring Your Railway Fund, the Government also announced the third round of the New Stations Fund, which will invest £20 million in new stations and help restore closed stations to their former glory. The fund has now closed with a decision on successful applicants due in the Autumn.

MP for Beverley and Holderness, Graham Stuart, submitted the bid to the Department for Transport calling for the restoration of the Beverley to York rail line.

The bid is widely supported across the region and has attracted cross-party backing, including from York MPs Julian Sturdy and Rachael Maskell.

Mr Sturdy, MP for York Outer, speaking earlier this month, said: “Bringing back this stretch of railway would be great for my constituents, particularly for those in Haxby who’d be getting a new station with a line into York, up to Scarborough, or across to Hull.

“It’d make getting into the city for work so much easier than having to worry about traffic and find decent parking.”