RESIDENTS in Stamford Bridge clashed at a packed public meeting to discuss the campaign to restore a railway line between York and Beverley.

While a majority were sympathetic to the aims of the Minsters Rail campaign, a “voluble minority” of villagers claimed the plans would destroy the historic village, said campaign chairman George McManus.

The railway, which once went through the East Yorkshire village, closed in 1965 following the Beeching Report, and the campaign has been battling to get it restored for the past decade.

Mr McManus said an outline feasibility study had identified that any new rail line could not use the original route and viaduct over the River Derwent, as this would involve the demolition of about 200 properties which had been built since the line shut. Instead, it had proposed a new route with a new viaduct to the north of the village, which would also have to cross the A166 on the eastern side, either through a tunnel or over a bridge. A new station could also be built as a tranport hub for the area, with room for cars and buses to park.

He said the new viaduct alone might cost £20 million and was one of the biggest engineering difficulties along the entire route. “What is needed is a detailed engineering study.”

Mr McManus said the public meeting, staged last week at Stamford Bridge Cricket Club with an attendance of about 60 people, had been “very lively”.

He said: “The majority in attendance were clearly sympathetic to our aims, but a voluble minority made a number of significant points which we shall be taking on board.”

He said people raised concerns about a number of issues, including the impact on property prices, which he had sought to allay by saying there was evidence a rail link would actually raise property values.

“This meeting was organised by local people,” he said.

“I’m delighted we attracted a number of new members on the night and the Stamford Bridge residents clearly demonstrated a desire to know more.”

He said he was looking forward to further discussions.