Don’t forget the Esk Valley railway to Whitby as Settle to Carlisle line celebrated – Yorkshire Post letters

An archive photo of a train on the Esk Valley line.
An archive photo of a train on the Esk Valley line.
Have your say

From: Alan Williams, Chairman, Esk Valley Community Rail Partnership, Whitby.

WE join you in celebrating the undoubted success of the Settle and Carlisle line (The Yorkshire Post, April 11). But please remind your readers that there are other lines in Yorkshire still struggling for survival.

The Yorkshire Post says: Thank you Michael Portillo for saving Settle to Carlisle railway line

Just a year after the S&C was reprieved in 1989, the service to Whitby was slashed from eight trains a day to just four.

At a stroke, the single morning commuter and evening return services were removed, condemning the line, which has been described at the prettiest line in England with the worst train service, to being just a tourist line.

Yet the town of Whitby, which alone has a much larger population than any on the Settle and Carlisle, together with the villages along the Esk Valley, has major problems of connectivity and rural deprivation.

A House of Commons Transport Committee report identified Whitby as one of seven ‘urban communities in a sparse setting’ with the second worse train service in the country (the worst had none!) to the nearest hospital and centres of further education and employment, all over an hour away across the North York Moors.

And last week the House of Lords report, ‘The Future of Seaside Towns’, agreed, saying Whitby is ‘suffering from infrequent rail services’ which is ‘holding back and hindering the realisation of economic potential’.

It suggests to the Department for Transport that ‘emphasis should be accorded to isolated communities which are at ‘the end of the line’

We believe that, with the recent growth of Whitby as a weekend tourist destination, major new employment opportunities now provided by the Sirius potash mine and the offshore wind farm base, together with the forthcoming Heritage Lottery funded ‘Land of Iron’ project in the National Park, the Esk Valley line to Whitby needs and deserves a much improved rail service similar to that now beginning to be 
provided on the Settle and Carlisle line.

From: Shaun Kavanagh, Leeds.

IT is suggested cars could be banned from school roads. The question infers that vehicles (cars) could be banned, but does that mean 24/7 or just school times Monday to Friday excluding when schools are closed?

Talking of air pollution as a reason for excluding cars from school roads does not appear to be justifiable. It appears more of a knee-jerk reaction to roads around schools without proven credibility.

To exclude such vehicles will only create inconvenience, frustration, longer journeys by diversions thereby increasing traffic flow which will create further emissions from cars and will be a ‘no gain’ situation. To punish so many motorists would be ridiculous, not just those taking or collecting children from school.

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

LEEDS Council leader Judith Blake lauds a £20m scheme to transform transport in the city centre into a world-class gateway for bus users, pedestrians and cyclists (The Yorkshire Post, April 11).

Wow, how wonderful!

However, whilst all this is going on, other cities such as Manchester, Nottingham and Edinburgh are steadily expanding their tram networks, of which Leeds, of course, has none.

You have presided over the shambles of Leeds transport for far too long, Councillor Blake, and it has all been an utter failure. Time to go, surely?

Address the China issue

From: Mr PL Taylor, Milner Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield.

FROM the point of humanitarian reasons, a meeting must be urgently arranged between the business leaders of the Western world and the business leaders of China.

The conditions of their workers has to be improved and some kind of definitive proof that this is taking place. The Western world is quite happy to purchase their goods without considering the working conditions of the people who produce those much-wanted goods.

Bus stops and flower power

From: Tim Bradshaw, Slaithwaite.

IT is wonderful to see that florists are brightening up bus stops in Harrogate (The Yorkshire Post, April 10) with “a variety of colour”. But I hope the risk assessment, when obviously drawn up, has taken into account that watering could be a potential hazard to the council’s Park Team who might get poured upon resulting in wet clothing if they stand too close. I really hope for their sakes that Health and Safety have looked into this and advised accordingly.

Breweries in the spotlight

From: Edd Mather, Brewer & Brewing Historian, Bolton.

I’M researching and writing a book on old beers and brewing and I also blog on the same subject. After looking through the public archives with brewing records in, I’m missing brewing information on a few major, but now sadly defunct Yorkshire breweries. I’m interested in all 
Yorkshire breweries, but particularly Henry Bentley & 
Co, Bentley’s Yorkshire 
Breweries of Leeds which ceased brewing in the 1970s; Bentley & Shaw Ltd, Lockwood Brewery of Huddersfield which ceased brewing in the 1960s and Melbourne Brewery of Leeds, which also ceased in the 1960s.

I’d like to ask your readers if they have any old brewing records, etc, in their collections or maybe items hiding away in attics, suitcases, sheds, etc. Get in touch with me via