Yorkshire believes York should be home to new railway hub, new polling suggests

The People of Yorkhire believe York would make the best home for the new Great British Railways, polling has suggested.

York Minster pictured in November 2021
York Minster pictured in November 2021

Six in 10 of those asked picked the medieval city as their first choice of the four locations across the region that have put themselves forward to be the headquarters of the new hub.

Doncaster was next in the favourability ratings, with two in ten people selecting that as their preferred location, according to the findings collated by Focal

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The survey, commissioned by the Yes2York campaign, found that one in 10 people picked Hull when asked and the same number preferred Wakefield as the home of Great British Railways.

In addition, it was found that 70 per cent of people think the hub being based in York would be good for Yorkshire’s economy, while the same number think it could bring new job opportunities across the region.

A local MP has said York could tick all the boxes to become “globally competitive” if the new headquarters arrived in the city.

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, said: “The Government has rightly said that it wants to create a globally competitive city in every region, level up the UK and spread opportunity and investment around our country and ensure we are a scientific, engineering and technological superpower.

“York can tick all those boxes with the addition of the GBR HQ alongside our world-class universities and £60m transformation of the National Railway Museum that will inspire the next generation of Brunels.”

Coun Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, said: “This gold-standard poll shows the people of Yorkshire have clearly said Yes2York for the Great British Railways headquarters.

“People know York has the ability to help level up the North, the right skills and people to make GBR a success and the potential to be globally competitive and create a new major Northern services export.”

Great British Railways will oversee the country’s rail transport from next year, taking over from Network Rail.

Ministers have pledged that it will be based outside London, as part of their promise on levelling up.

As of last month, 42 places across the country had expressed an interest in welcoming GBR, with them having to have submitted their bids by March 16.

They included large cities – among them Edinburgh, Birmingham and Liverpool – to smaller towns across the Midlands including Tamworth, Nuneaton, Wellingborough and Crewe.

The final shortlist of locations will be announced next month.

There will then be a series of Ministerial visits and a public vote before the eventual winner of the competition is announced later in the summer.