BIDDERS for the franchises to run local and commuter trains in Yorkshire have been urged to restore a direct service between Hull and Manchester Airport.
The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership estimates a half-hourly service could add more than £5 million to the local economy every year.
It is also calling for the direct service between Cleethorpes and Manchester city centre to be maintained.
The suggestion the service could be cut was floated in a recent Government consultation on the future of rail in the North.
Humber LEP chairman Lord Haskins said: “The Humber economy is gathering momentum with some major investments announced and with more in the pipeline it is essential that investment in transport connectivity keeps pace with this.”
The Government yesterday revealed which companies are competing to run rail services in the region from 2016.
Abellio, which currently runs the northern rail franchise in partnership with Serco, is bidding to retain the contract which is also being pursued by Arriva and Govia - a joint venture between Keolis and Go-Ahead.
Keolis and Go-Ahead are also bidding for the transpennine franchise against First Group and Stagecoach.
The franchise is currently run as a joint venture between First and Keolis.
Peter Box, chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said: “We have long maintained that local rail users deserve to see levels of service comfort and capacity that match they quite rightly expect so it is good to see this level of interest in running these franchises.
“There is a continually growing demand for rail services in West Yorkshire and York and beyond so we look forward to seeing how the shortlisted companies intend to transform rail travel in line with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s objective of boosting jobs and growth.”