OVERNIGHT drilling work has begun on the preferred site for the new Haxby railway station.

A Network Rail letter to Haxby residents informed them of the plans near the proposed location of a new £23 million railway station near Towthorpe Road.

Work began last Sunday night (September 17) and will run to Friday, September 22.

Iain Kelly, the company's project sponsor for Haxby station, said: “Network Rail is currently undertaking some ground investigation works to help us gain a better understanding of the proposed site of the new Haxby station.

“These works are typical and will help further the design and development of the proposed station and support Network Rail’s planning application which is expected to be submitted later this year.

“We’re confident in the proposed location of the station, but in the unlikely event that this were to change, the same works would be carried out to support any other application.”

A new station in Haxby has been in City of York Council plans for many years, as reported in The Press.

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Residential consulations took place in 2020 and 2022, with more than two-thirds of respondents in each case strongly in support of the idea.

The council said the Towthorpe Road site presented a strong case for the station because it lowers the risk of not being delivered in time for Department for Transport (DfT) deadlines.

The council, in conjunction with Network Rail, has submitted its application for funding to the DfT.

It is hoped the new station would be built by Network Rail by the end of 2024.

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Haxby and Wigginton Andrew Hollyer said: "It is good to see further progress on the plans for a new station to serve Haxby, Wigginton and the north of York. 

"We anticipate a planning application being submitted this year and these works are intended to help inform the design of the station so that it takes into account local ground conditions. 

"With a planning application in the works, and confirmation from City of York Council that the Towthorpe Road site is the only possible site, we are calling on the government to finally confirm the promised funding for the station, so that it can open in 2024."

Works are running from 11pm to 6am each night and Network Rail said their nature often means some disturbance is unavoidable as teams use a drilling rig up to 20 metres in depth.

The letter states the access point will be the level crossing on Towthorpe Road.