York would be the ideal base for Great British Railways, Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake urges Transport Secretary Grant Shapps

A Conservative MP has added his voice to calls for the new public body responsible for the nation's railways to be based in York.

Thirsk and Malton MP, Kevin Hollinrake this week urged the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, to make the historic city the home for Great British Railways.

Great British Railways (GBR) is a new public body set up as a result of a government review to integrate the railways and deliver passenger-focused travel with simpler, modern fares and reliable services.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Read More

Read More
Missing out Bradford on Northern Powerhouse Rail route is 'not acceptable', Tran...
The York Central site which city leaders say could play host to Great British Railways

In the Commons Mr Hollinrake asked Mr Shapps whether “given York’s historic connections and strategic location, does my Right Honourable Friend think that it would make the perfect location for a new location for the new headquarters of Great British Railway?”

In response Mr Shapps said: “My honourable friend is absolutely right. It is a stunning location. I launched the William-Shapps railway review at the York railway museum. I commend it to everyone in this House and beyond and I think he is absolutely right that it would provide a very attractive location for Great British Railway although that is somewhere down the line”.

Mr Hollinrake said afterwards: “I was delighted with the very positive response from the Transport Secretary. York is ideally situated for the headquarters. The railways have had a huge impact on the city of York.

"In the mid 19thcentury York became a major hub for the growing network thanks to the strategic vision of George Hudson and it has been an important railway city ever since.

"I am working closely with North Yorkshire and City of York Councils, the Local Enterprise Partnership and other stakeholders to make this York bid. It would be fantastic for the city, for the county and for the North and would bring hundreds of well-paid jobs to the area."

Earlier this week, Liberal Democrat City of York Council leader Keith Aspden wrote to government asking for the new Great British Railways headquarters to be based at the York Central development.

The Department for Transport announced in May that the new Great British Railways body will be created to own the rail infrastructure, set most fares and timetables, integrate the railways, collect fare revenue and run and plan the network. It will be launched in 2023.

The new body will take over the running of the UK rail system and will simplify the current mass of confusing tickets with new flexible season tickets and a significant roll-out of more convenient Pay As You Go, contactless and digital ticketing on smartphones.

A new GBR website will sell tickets and a single compensation system for operators in England will provide a simple system for passengers to access information and apply for refunds.