Savings from axing part of HS2 have boosted hopes a railway line could re-open between York and Hull.

And a government minister has told a gathering of East Yorkshire MPs the proposed line remains under consideration.

If approved, the scheme would link stations in Haxby, Stamford Bridge, Pocklington, Market Weighton, Beverley, Cottingham and Hull.

Campaigners says this more direct route would take 56 minutes from York to Hull, instead of the current route via Selby, which often takes 68-75 minutes and may involve changing trains.


Last week, Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart, plus Hull MPs Dame Diana Johnson and Emma Hardy, met Rail Minister Huw Merriman as part of a decades long campaign to restore the route.

The MPs pressed press the case for the 32-mile York-Beverley ‘Minsters line’, which was completed in 1865 but closed in 1965 following the production of the Beeching Report.

In 2009, East Riding Council gave backing to the re-opening of the line as the then government sought projects to boost sustainability.

In 2010, the Minsters Rail Campaign launched a York branch.

In 2020, Mr Stuart, backed by York MPs Rachael Maskell and Julian Sturdy, submitted a bid to central government to fund a feasibility study.

This led to £50,000 awarded the following year from its £500million Restoring Your Railway fund.

Last December, the Beverley MP last December also submitted a Strategic Outline Business case.

Now, he says the next stage of study is to establish usage and a route.

After the Birmingham-Manchester leg of HS2 was cancelled, the government transferred its £36bn of savings to other projects, including a ‘Network North,’ meaning projects in the region have a far better chance of funding.

The MP said: “The Humber Energy Estuary is the driver of growth in the UK, and connecting the great university cities of Hull and York would light a rocket under our region. 

“I want to see graduates of our world-class universities have well-paid jobs and clear career pathways to make staying in the Humber region the logical decision. 

“The railway would make towns like Beverley a bigger part of the nation’s future, and I’m delighted that it remains on the Government’s agenda.” 

Roy Begg of the Minsters Rail Campaign said: “Excellent news to hear Graham Stuart MP has been able to meet with Huw Merriman the rail minister to discuss the great opportunities and potential/benefits of the York to Hull railway. 

“We believe the work completed to date, and support of MPs from all parties and local authorities shows the belief in the project and importance of the railway to the region.”

During a similar meeting in Westminster in May, York Outer MP Julian Sturdy said the project would “would really help to connect York with Hull, providing a boost to York’s economy, commuters and just generally better connect Yorkshire.”