Local MP for Beverley and Holderness, Graham Stuart, has submitted a bid to the Department for Transport calling for the restoration of the Beverley to York rail line as part of the Government’s ‘Restoring Your Railways’ scheme, which would provide Government funding for a feasibility study on the return of the route.
The 32-mile stretch of track was closed in 1965 following recommendations in the Beeching Report two year earlier. Written by the then-Chair of British Railways, Dr Richard Beeching, the report was the basis of the infamous cuts throughout the sixties which resulted in around 6,000 miles of railway lines being axed on cost and efficiency grounds.
The bid to restore the line is widely supported across the region and has attracted cross-party backing, including from York MPs Julian Sturdy and Rachael Maskell, Hull’s Dame Diana Johnson, and David Davis. In addition to the parliamentary support, local authorities in the East Riding, Hull, York, and North Yorkshire have lent their weight to the calls along with Wolds Weighton Councillor Leo Hammond.
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.
It would also provide an alternative rail line running east-west, offering greater resilience and freeing up routes so that more services can run on the existing route out of Hull.
Graham said, “I’ve been a long-time supporter of bringing back the old Beverley-York line, which local groups like the Minsters Rail Campaign have been championing over the past few decades.
“According to the last census, about a quarter of working people who live in the East Riding travel to either Hull or York for work – all of whom would benefit from an alternative to crowded roads and sparse bus services. It would also add to the area’s green credentials by reducing emissions.”
Dame Diana Johnson, MP for Hull North, also commented: “Restoring this line would be a great boost for the city of Hull – offering my constituents more options and easier commutes.
“Providing better connections is key to improving opportunities in the north, especially as we try to recover from the coronavirus crisis, which is why I’ve arranged a virtual Humber Rail Summit alongside Emma Hardy next week.”
York Outer MP, Julian Sturdy, added: “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.”
The project is also supported by both the Humber and the York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Local Enterprise Partnerships.
Photo attached: Graham with members of the Minsters Rail Campaign group, including Wolds Weighton Conservative Councillor Leo Hammond. (Credit: Minsters Rail Campaign)