York racecourse and top hotel demand answers and say East Coast line closure can’t come ‘at a worse time’

ONE of York’s top hoteliers says the East Coast Main Line closure could not come at a worse time.

The East Coast Main Line closure clashes with the final day of sporting events like York's Ebor festival.

Philip Bolson, general manager of York’s Grand Hotel & Spa, said: “There has been no discussion or consultation about when would be a good time.

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“For me, it would not be from mid-July through to the end of August, including the Bank Holiday as well.

The East Coast Main Line disruption clashes with the first Ashes Test at Headingley since Australia beat England at the Leeds ground in 2009.

“We got wind of it in May and dropped a couple of emails to Network Rail.

“That they haven’t replied is equally disappointing.”

The weekend also sees the £1m Sky Bet Ebor when 30,000 racegoers from across the country will attend York for Europe’s richest Flat handicap.

The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor festival, clashing with the £1m Sky Bet Ebor, will clash with August Bnak Holiday rail disruption.

It is the culmination of the racecourse’s flagship four-day meeting sponsored, ironically, by Welcome to Yorkshire.

“York Racecourse was shocked and incredibly disappointed to learn in June of the plans to close the line,” said chief executive William Derby.

“This meeting dates back to 1843 and the £1m Sky Bet Ebor is our most famous race It is our hope that the rail industry reconsiders this plan.”

William Derby is chief executive of York Racecourse.

Officials at the RFL are working with clubs to support thousands of fans travelling from Yorkshire to London for the Challenge Cup Final.

Meanwhile Yorkshire County Cricket Club is contacting spectators who are due to attend the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia.

Cricket fans from across the world will be travelling to the first Ashes match to be staged at Headingley since 2009, which will begin on August 22 and is due to finish on August 26 – Bank Holiday Monday.

The ground holds 18,350 people and an official said they would now be contacting ticket-holders to advise them to make alternative travel plans.

Meanwhile Susan Briggs, director of The Tourism Network, suggested tourism leaders here should have been lobbying Network Rail far more effectively.

“In other areas, the equivalent of Welcome to Yorkshire is involved in lobbying for better transport, helping to manage visitors and avoiding terrible clashes like this.”