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David Wells from the Minsters Rail Campaign will be appearing on Radio Humberside at 0815 to discuss the future of the campaign should ERYC allow housing development to further impinge on the route.
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 1st December 2013