Joining the campaign costs £5 per year or £50 for life. You can download a form here or contact GEORGE MCMANUS
The MRC confirm that this years AGM has been booked and will take place at Hodgson Pub, Flemingate, Beverley HU17 0NU on Saturday 22 March 2014 at 10.30am. Doors open at 10am. Tea and coffee will be provided.
Following the retrogressive decision of East Riding Council not to include route protection in its Local Plan, the campaign's steering committee met recently to discuss next steps. There is a general feeling that we should, at least for the moment, continue with the campaign. However it will be for the members to decide what happens next so if at all possible please come along. If you can't come please let us know your thoughts and these will be included in our deliberations.
Regardless of the outcome of the AGM, George Mcmanus and Douglas Hope have decided it's time to step down as Chairman of the campaign and Treasurer. If members decide they wish to continue with the campaign it will therefore be necessary to elect new officers so please let us know if you are interested in being nominated. Nominations will also be taken from the floor at the AGM.
We hope to see you there. Please contact George McManus or the webmaster.
Key members of the MRC will be meeting to decide on the future direction (if any) of the MRC.
The East Riding of York Council met on the 8th January and approved the Local Plan that allows development over the planned alignment of the railway. Within days a developer had put in for planning permission on the site where we hoped our Pocklington station would be and we are aware that the proposed Stamford Bridge site is also in line for early development. The site of both of these stations was vital to sucking traffic off the A166 and A1079 roads both of which will see increased traffic levels over the next few years.
At the moment the three officers of the campaign have not yet decided on what to do next and we will be arranging an Extraordinary General Meeting in the near future. It is clear that if the Campaign is to continue it needs new active members to continue the fight. At the present time we will not accept any new members until the way ahead is clearer.
We are trying to persuade the Humberside Local Enterprise Partnership to intervene and protect the route but there is a feeling that ERYC have almost gone out of their way to scupper the scheme with local councillors in Market Weighton and Pocklington voting in favour of development. It is difficult to see what thier motivation is when we feel the increased traffic levels will lead to a poorer quality of life.
We will keep you posted any further developements. Thanks for your support over the past few weeks.
***PRESS RELEASE***PRESS RELEASE***PRESS RELEASE*** 1st January 2014
Campaigners to take protest to East Riding Council 8 January
Minsters Rail campaigners are planning to protest at County Hall Beverley at 1pm on Wednesday 8 January in opposition to East Riding Council plans which, they claim, will prevent the Hull to York railway via Beverley from ever re-opening.
Councillors will receive a report in which officers have recommended the removal of route protection for the railway which was closed under the Beeching Axe in 1965. The route has been protected since 2005 when the Council's own report found that re-opening was feasible. However, removing the route's protected status will open the proposed route to
planning applications which the campaigners say would mean the line could never re-open.
Chairman of the Minsters' Rail Campaign George McManus, said today, 'All we are asking for is the status quo and to keep the door open, not slam it shut. . The Council identified the route on its earlier plans following the study they themselves commissioned in 2005. Removing the route from the proposals and opening it up to development gives the clear message that the Council doesn't think it will ever re-open. Future generations will pay the price.'
He went on, 'The East Riding population is growing. 24,000 new homes will be built. The infrastructure must be in place if we are to accommodate this expansion. We believe the project is deliverable. Similar projects are going ahead in other parts of the country. Councillors must realise the cataclysmic consequences of this short sighted proposal. I have written to them all and hope they will heed our plea.
6th December 2013 - MINSTERS CAMPAIGN IN CRISIS!
We write to you at what is probably the most critical time in our 12 year campaign to re-open the Hull to York line via Beverley.
In 2005 East Riding Council agreed to protect the proposed route from development. In the last few days, the council's Cabinet have voted to remove this protection. We believe that if this is not re-considered then our campaign will end.
The full Council will debate the Cabinet's proposal on Wednesday 8 January. We are proposing that we mount a demonstration at County Hall, Beverley immediately before the meeting in order to try and influence the outcome of that debate.
The demonstration is planned for 1pm at County Hall. Please let George, Douglas or Dave know if you think you can attend. You can also find us on Facebook and register your intentions.
We will of course continue to do all we can to prevent the demise of our campaign. We will continue to have discussions with Councillors and other decision makers and do all we can to advocate the case but if you do nothing else for the campaign please try to come along on 8 January to show your support. We honestly believe this is our last chance to prevent our campaign from being closed down and will prevent any chance of the railway re-opening fro many years. Please, please do what you can.
We look forward to hearing from you.
George McManus (Beverley and Pocklington)
Chairman, Minsters' Rail Campaign
David Wells (York and Stamford Bridge)
Vice Chair, Minsters' Rail Campaign
Douglas Hope (Market Weighton)
Treasurer, Minsters' Rail Campaign
22 November 2013 from Hansard written answers
Lilian Greenwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will impose a moratorium on building on disused railway paths. 
Stephen Hammond: Network Rail's land disposals are regulated and monitored by the independent Office of Rail Regulation through a condition in its network licence. The purpose of the licence condition is to protect land that may be required for the future development of the rail network, and to prevent the disposal of that land against the public interest.
The Government's National Planning Policy Framework states that local planning authorities should identify and protect, where there is robust evidence, sites and routes which could be critical in developing infrastructure to widen transport choice.
3 November 2013
We at the Minsters Rail Campaign have been out and about on our bikes at the York end of the route. This morning (03/11/13) we had to wait over 5 minutes to get across the A1079 at Dunnington as a seemingly endless procession of cars passed us. The concern we have is that if the East Riding of Yorkshire Council do allow development on the track bed then within years we suspect a rather large road will be built.
Speaking of old rail alignments some new properties are being built on the old Derwent Valley Railway track at Dunnington (not affected by our line). We were however encouraged to see a large photo board commemorating the Derwent Valley Railway featuring a J72 0-6-0T locomotive.
June 14th 2013
This message is from George McManus following the meeting between the Minsters Rail Campaign and ERYC. If you can help further please get in touch.
Today I've enjoyed constructive discussions with Planning and Transport officers at East Riding Council on our proposals for re-opening the Beverley to York railway. I made the key point that their proposals to allow allocations on land adjacent to our preferred route in Pocklington would be a body blow to the campaign.
They accept that they should re-visit the allocations situation in the LDF and that their wording regarding the line is not as supportive as it should be. The consultation on the LDF is half way through and they will be reporting to elected members again in the Autumn.
I've agreed to make a further submission advocating the case and highlighting the change of heart at central government regarding potential funding streams. I've indicated that we will support their efforts to raise the issue up the agenda and will do whatever we can to further promote our case.
In the meantime I intend to do further research on the background to the east west rail consortium proposals which have won government backing and identify whatever parallels may exist to help advocate our case. Given that this line of communication is open I would recommend that we endeavour to continue our efforts and should anybody have any further information I will be happy to feed this through.
This press release has been issued by the Campaign today:
***PRESS RELEASE***PRESS RELEASE***PRESS RELEASE***
Council has Vision of a blind man whose lost his dog
Campaigners working to re-open the Beverley to York railway, have said they're devastated by a policy change at East Riding Council. News that the proposed route will no longer be protected from development may have sounded the death knell for a campaign which was set up 10 years ago to re-open the line, closed as a result of the Beeching axe.
Speaking today, George McManus, Chairman of the Minsters' Rail Campaign said, 'This is a truly devastating blow to our campaign to develop modern infrastructure which would have given East Yorkshire real economic advantage.Re-opening this line could have given Hull and Bridlington direct connectionto the East Coast mainline. This is a serious blow to the area's future economic development. This Council has as much vision as a blind man who has most his guide dog.
He went on, 'Securing route protection from development pressure was the reason we set up the campaign. In achieving that, we were successful but with its withdrawal, the raison d'etre for the campaign has disappeared'.
'This decision illustrates a lack of vision at the heart of the East Riding Council which is stuck in the past and motivated by short term gains rather than long term benefits. Unless this decision is reversed, this line will never re-open and East Yorkshire will slip further into congested, polluted decline.'
The Campaign is trying to arrange a meeting with EYYRC to see if we can get this decision reversed. Should we fail it is unlikely the Camapign will continue.
THE MINSTERS RAIL CAMPAIGN FIGHTING FUND
Donate today in order we can fund an update of the 2005 feasibility study. Please send cheques c/o the Minsters Rail Campaign to
Minsters Rail Campaign
Yorkshire YO42 4JA
Interesting article on the A1079
An interview with Minsters Rail Campaign chairman George Mc Manus in the Hull Daily Mail dated April 2nd
The campaign has also been interviewed on Radio York and has a short artilce in the latest edition of Rail Magazine. In Modern Railways April edition there is list of Beeching's worst closures whihc of course includes our line. Thanks doc!
The 27th March saw the fiftieth annivesary of the Beeching Report which recommended the closure of the Minsters Line. Chairman George McManus featured on two television news items and these links should take you to them:
The BBC piece is about 7 minutes in following an item on the high cost of petrol in rural areas. Need we say more?
Members of the Campaign have commented on the East Riding Yorkshire Council's local plan and will be dpoing the same on the City of York council's plan.
We await a decision on Haxby station - see below - but the railway rumour mill seems to suggest Lea Bridge (East London), Ilkeston (Derbyshire) and a station in South Wales might be more sucessful. We remain optimistic and an action group for Haxby station held its first meeting earlier in the month. A Haxby station page has been added and more detail will be added soon.
The Minsters Rail Campaign AGM was held earlier this month as well. The membership was disappointed in the current negative attitude of East Riding of Yorkshire Council but resolved to continue campaigning.
Here is an interesting table courtesy of the BBC 27/03/2013. Highlights the benefits of being attached to the rail network rather well.
Average house price
(Halifax price index)
Tourist Information Centre visits(2012)
(Harrogate Borough Council)
Daily weekday rail services
(West Yorkshire Metro)
Annual station footfall
Approx. 1.3 million
The following article appeared in the Beverley Guardian on the 8th February.
HEADLINE "THE idea of re-instating a railway link between Beverley and York is "very clearly unaffordable", Driffield Town Council has been told.
Campaigners believe that re-opening the long defunct line would bring enormous medium and long term benefits to the people, economy and environment of East Yorkshire, including Driffield and the (Driffield) town council had asked the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to fund another study into the reinstatement of the link.
"But East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor Symon Fraser said: 'The idea of re-instating the railway line between Beverley and York is very clearly unaffordable under any source of funding of which we are aware.'
Councillor Fraser, who represents the Driffield and Rural Ward, explained: 'There are significant and increasing challenges to the potential success of any efforts to revisit the possibility of the re-opening of the this long since abandoned railway route.
A significant hurdle is perhaps encountered in the fact that the rebuild of this rail route does not feature within the scope of any of the National or Regional strategic railway infrastructure plans. Furthermore, in 2005, when we last commissioned, in partnership with neighbouring local authorities and other key stakeholders, an independent study to assess the feasibility of reopening the railway line the study concluded that the likely cost of such a project would be c irca £239 million. This was based on 2005 prices and would likely to be significantly greater now.
The importance of this is that under the new funding arrangements for major transport schemes, the Department for Transport has stated that the allocation for the whole of the Humber area is in the region of £20 million.
Councillor Fraser said: 'At this time, in the knowledge of the above difficulties I do not believe it would be prudent to spend further taxpayers' money to recommission the earlier feasibility study.
On a more positive note, we are doing what we can to ensure that transport links between Beverley and York are maintained and improved whenever we are able to do so.
We are also keen to see improved bus services and facilities along the A1079, again improving connectivity between Beverley and York.'"
The response of Councillor Symon Fraser to Driffield Council’s request for a feasibility study (Beverley Guardian 10th Feb) into the restoration of the Beverley to York line needs challenging as it misrepresents some key facts. Firstly we should remember that the original study showed a return on investment of 2:1 which means there is a good chance that the DfT would, if the study was to be fully developed and prove viable, would find most of the cost of the line.
Since the original study was done much has changed - the economy is in a parlous state, the cost of motoring is rising and many East Yorkshire residents are finding it more difficult to justify running a car. One result of this is has been the massive rise in the number of passengers using the Wolds Coast line. We now believe that the passenger usage quoted in the original report actually significantly understated the numbers that would use the line.
The Minsters Rail Campaign also believe the business case can be further strengthened by the provision of north facing curve at Beverley to allow direct services from Driffield and Bridlington, as well as faster services from Hull and Beverley to York. We are also very conscious of the scheme’s costs and believe that a light-rail or tram train solution might be a way to reduce costs. It might even be that a guided bus way similar to that operating between Cambridge and St Ives is a possible solution.
Councillor Fraser is correct in identifying that £20m has been allocated to the Humber region for transport. Linking the cost to this project though is wrong - completely different budgets especially if the scheme becomes part of the national network. Local councils are, as far as we are aware, not funding HS2.
Let’s be clear - the Minsters Rail Campaign is asking for around £70k to update the feasibility study and take a fresh look at some of the issues. If the business case is positive then the project can, and this time must, progress.
We believe that without improved communication links, the East Yorkshire area will become an economic backwater reliant on the car. We should also remember that many rural bus services have been cut due to the removal of subsidies so we must conclude that improved bus services on the A1079 are also some years away.
Finally it is interesting to note that North Yorkshire County Council are funding a feasibility study into the re-opening the line through Ripon whilst York City council are trying to re-open Haxby station. In reality we do not see the line opening for some 10-15 years now. How soon, is dependent on whether East Riding of York Council wants it and sadly from this response it seems that that is not really the case. We must also question the affordability of this further study - £70k against £2.7m on cobblestone replacement seems to us a reasonable use of taxpayers’ money.
The Campaign has reached a crossroads with little activity in the past year. Chairman George McManus and York area co-ordinator are looking forward to the March AGM (dates to follow) where the Campaign needs to have a discussion about next steps. The letter writing campaign in November has had limited sucess but two Conservative Councillors in Hull have suggested Hull City Council might be better suited to support the campaign. East Riding of Yorkshire Council whilst committed to the scheme feel unable to commit any money to an updated feasibility study despite other locally unpopular spending decisions. The Campaign is however very short of active volunteers and nayone who can offer practical help is urged to get in touch with George McManus or the webmaster.
Better news from the York end, where the Minsters Rail Campaign's aims have been adopted in principle by the Transport Vision for York initiative run by Julian Sturdy the local Conservative MP for York Outer. This is a group of prominent York business people, transport professionals and politicians who realise the importance of decongesting York's busy road infrastructure.
Even better news is the announcement of the £20m New Stations fund and City of York Council intend to bid for money to re-open Haxby station which under the heavy rail scenarios we support, could be served by Minsters Rail services in years to come. A public meeting is planned by RAILFUTURE for the 20th February (see events).
Back in Witerhnsea a new rail group called East Yorkshire Rail Generation met on 29th January for the first time. George McManus spoke at this meeting and We wish them well and will let you know more infromation when we have it.
Site last updated on Sunday 23rd February 2014