Rev Jeremy Fisher (former Vicar of Beverley Minster)
Rt Rev Richard Frith (Bishop of Hull)
Rt Rev Terence Drainey (RC Bishop of Middlesbrough)
Rachael Maskell MP (City of York)
Alan Johnson MP (Hull West and Hessle)
Diane Johnson MP (Hull North)
Sir Greg Knight MP (East Yorkshire)
Ann Mcintosh MP (Malton and Thirsk)
Graham Stuart MP (Beverley and Holderness)
Julian Sturdy MP (York Outer)
Karl Turner MP (Hull East)
Timothy Kirkhope (MEP Yorkshire and Humber)
Linda McAvan (MEP Yorkshire and Humber)
CPRE (East Riding)
Events (see Events tab for full details)
WELCOME TO THE MINSTERS RAIL CAMPAIGN
50 YEARS AGO
27th November 2015
This is the webpage of the Minsters Rail Campaign. Our aim is to see the former rail link between York and Beverley reopened with new stations at Stamford Bridge, Pocklington and Market Weighton ideally placed to suck traffic off the congested A1079 (see story below) and A166 roads.
Our case for re-opening document can be found here and a map of the proposed route can be found below.
We are a voluntary organisation reliant on donations (both time and money) and appreciate any help we can get.
The committee consists of:
Peter Hemmerman - Chair
David Pennie - Secretary
Tony Ross - Treasurer
David Wells - Membership Sec.
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.
Membership Secretary David Wells has been delighted with the response to his invitation to re-join the Campaign, but warns that more members are needed.
'We put membership on hold about a year ago with the uncertainty the MRC faced,' says David. 'However, we still need people to join the campaign to ensure we can keep pressure up locally.'
Membership costs £10 for a year, although we would prefer it if people joined for longer, as the cost of stamps means less of the money goes to the Campaign itself.
Fifty years ago the last passenger trains operated over the Minsters line and a valuable link with the national rail network was lost. The decision was very borderline and it has been suggested that in fact mistakes were made and the line should have remained open.
We cannot undo the past but the Minsters Rail Campaign believe that the re-opening of the line will be beneficial for the local area. Just this week we heard that a journey along the last 9 miles of the A1079 towards York was undertaken at an average speed of 8 mph. With more houses being built and subsidy cuts to local bus services being made the case for the railway looks stronger than ever.
The first stage to re-open the line must be to get the 2005 positive Feasibility report updated and the MRC is trying to get councils, MPs and major local players lined up to approach the Local Enterprise Partnership for a multi-modal A1079 corridor study to study the problem and come up with a long-term solution. Shorter term safety improvements must be made to the A1079 but a long-term vision is needed.
Unfortunately we are still trying to get meaningful support from Hull and East Riding of Yorkshire councils although MPs are starting to see the sense in this idea. The MRC remain commited to this idea and welcome any support from members and interested supporters.
Minsters Rail Campaign have been quoted on a closed Facebook Group as supplying them with quotes for restoration of track and suggested this would be redundant track from Doncaster Works. We have investigated this matter and no member of the committee has given such advice. Whilst we support the idea of re-opening this line we are unhappy that we have been quoted and would politely ask members of that campaign to desist.
Parish Councils back Campaign
Since the election we have written to a number of Parish councils in East Yorkshire and have had a number of positive responses to our proposals. Those who have signed up include Bridlington, Withernsea, Sigglesthorne, Rudston, Kirkburn, Foston- on-the-Wolds, Carnaby, Skipsea, Molescroft, North Frodingham, Willerby, Brandsburton and Southcave. It is interesting to ntoe that many of these are off the route but understand and support the idea and value of a railway service for the region.
Bridlington Town Council have signed up as life members and have stated that "Bridlington Town Council support the Minsters Rail Campaign and are proud to purchase lifetime membership to support this project."
Joining the campaign costs £10 per year or £50 for life. You can download a membership form here
The Minsters Rail Campaign wrote to the candidates most likely to be elected in constituencies along the line to ask how they will help promote the goals of the Minsters Rail Campaign; namely helping to get an updated business case underway and should that prove the line is viable to help make the line a reality for the region. We have forwarded them the latest version of the MRC briefing document.
Of these, Graham Stuart (Conservative MP Beverley and Holderness) - and Rachael Maskell (Labour MP York Central) have replied, He with something brief and supportive, she with something more substantial and the MRC will be meeting with her in late July. Julian Sturdy's office (York Outer) has also replied promising to raise the briefing with him as a priority if he's elected and we would note Julian’s support when trying to get East Riding of Yorkshire’s decision to allow development on the identified route overturned.
MRC Chair Pete Hemmerman stood unsucesfully as a local councillor in Market Weighton and as mentioned elsewhere on the webpage new political party Yorkshire First have backed the re-opening.
Pete Hemmerman has also spoken to Sir Greg Knight (Conservative MP -East Yorkshire) who has promised to look into the matter should he be re-elected. Unfortunately Sir Greg was under the impression the Feasibility Study had shown the business case was not viable
The new political party Yorkshire First has already come out of the stocks with a rail policy that includes the re-opening of the Minsters Line and many others. A full list can be found here:
The key tasks for 2015will be about funding to update the 2005 feasibility study. (The November meeting was supportive (see item below), but there was no prospect of funding from local authorities.) This will involve:
engaging the Local Enterprise Partnerships for our area with the project
continuing to work closely with local authorities and councillors to encourage them to buy into our vision
making use of the experience of other reopening schemes which have already successfully gone through this stage in the process
Staging pubic meetings at Pocklington, Market Weighton and Beverley
We expect to learn the outcome of our challenge to the ERYC Local Plan in the new year, and will update our members as well as the Campaign’s sponsors listed on this website.
EAST RIDING LOCAL PLAN
MRC Secretary David Pennie and Chairman Pete Hemmerman represented the MRC at the recent Local Plan enquiry. Our main concern is the proposed housing development on the Stamford Bridge and Pocklington sites. If the line has to be diverted away from these sites, it becomes less attractive to car users and possibly more expensive, as the alignments were chosen to minimise engineering costs.
The inspectors have noted our concerns and will be reporting back with recommendations later in 2015. We hope they will advise ERYC to look again at the decision to develop the station sites. However we note that developement has aready started in Pocklington.
ROAD USAGE FIGURES
We have received a clarification from Ian Burnett of ERYC on road usage figures for the area. The figures are taken from Automatic Traffic Counters (ATC), which are permanent loops in the road. The ATC between Market Weighton and Pocklington is located just east of Hayton dual carriageway and the ATC between Pocklington and York is located at Kexby.
Ian confirmed that 26,000 was the net figures mentioned at the meeting (expected A1079 use around 2029).
The following are 12 hour (0700-1900) two-way traffic flows:
Market Weighton to Pocklington (just east of Hayton dual carriageway) - 14,223
Pocklington to York (Kexby) - 14,457
A166 (Stamford Bridge) - 6,872
We have applied a quick bit of maths by dividing 14,457 by twelve to get an hourly number passing the Kexby counter of 1205 vehicles per hour or around 20 vehicles in an average minute.
FULL NOTES FROM COUNCIL MEETING 5/11/14
The proposal to electrify the existing estuary route to Hull and to improve journey times to around one hour are the key aims of Hull and ERYC. The Northern franchise ITT is likely to specify an hourly service over this route as well. This addresses part of the MRC business case.
The councils do not have the funding to finance a further study. The power to do this now lies with the Local Enterprise Partnerships who have the funds and the ear of local government. We sensed some frustration from councillors on this state of play.
Graham North (NYCC/Ryedale) suggested we need to go right back to basics. The only way a LEP will fund a project is for it to have a more robust business case. To get to the business case you have to persuade them the study is worth doing. Instead of a rail study, Graham suggests a corridor study to fully understand the needs of the communities and businesses in the corridor (and he was keen for us to note the best solution may not involve building more railway). Graham pointed to the Harrogate electrification study as an example of good practice.
Symon Fraser (ERYC) doubted the funding would ever be raised. Ian Burnett (ERYC officer) said the A1079 could cope with predicted levels of traffic to 2029 [and then?]. There are further improvements due in the next few years: limited doubling and new roundabout near Market Weighton.
James Alexander (CYC) suggested contacting LEPs to see if they were interested in funding a corridor type study, perhaps convening a meeting with the three local LEPs and local MPs as a way forward. Pete Hemmerman (MRC) is to consider this as next step.
All parties agreed they supported the project and would be prepared to meet after Minsters Rail Campaign had contacted the LEPs.
It was noted that the 'Northern powerhouse' aspirations of the current government, the One North and Rail North bodies and policy changes in the forthcoming years may all affect the projects - Cllr Stephen Bayes (Hull) encouraged the Campaign to keep going whilst acknowledging this was a long-haul project.
THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A RAIL LINK
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
A map of the proposed route - the black line is the original line, the blue sections new build. Of the three routes into York the northern-most is currently the most likely to go ahead.
Site last updated on Monday 30th November 2015
LETTER IN RAIL MAGAZINE
Minsters Rail Campaign secretary David Pennie has had a letter published in Rail magazine re-inforcing the argument that the Minsters line would act as a second route into Hull should the Humber shoreline route not be available due to flooding.
MINSTERS RAIL CAMPAIGN ON TV
We are hoping to feature on BBC television on the programme "Inside Out" when MRC member James Wilson will commute into York showing the difficulties he faces.
MEMBERSHIP FEE INCREASE
The cost of postage has meant that reuctanty the MRC has had to increase annual membership to £10. Life membership remains at £50.