Station plans on track as council applies for cash to cover costs

Plans to develop a long-awaited railway station on the outskirts of York could be approved next month in a move that will provide faster links for commuters to York, Leeds, Manchester and beyond.

If the proposal to build the station in Haxby gets the go-ahead, it would provide access to the rail network for more than 22,000 residents who live within three mile radius of the chosen site.

Campaigners have long been calling for a station at Haxby – and now York Council is set to apply for a share of £20m funding from Network Rail, as part of a national competition for contributions towards the costs of building new stations around the country.

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Councillor Dave Merrett, the council’s cabinet member for transport, planning and sustainability, said yesterday that a business case was being prepared for the project.

He said: “It has been our vision to build a new railway station at Haxby Railway Station for many years, so we are excited to announce that we are developing our business case which we hope will place York in the best position to be selected for this funding.

He added: “This is a relatively limited pot of money, so there no guarantees that we will be successful on this when the results are announced next month, but this would make a big difference in travel terms for the large part of the city’s residents who live in the Haxby and Wigginton area.”

The proposal – which earlier had to be put on hold because of funding difficulties – covers a station south of the existing level crossing on Station Road.

The plans also include a small car park with 90 spaces.

If the bid is successful, council bosses say work to build the station could start as soon as 2015 .

They say it will offer commuters a cross-Pennine network rail service.

In 2010 proposals for a £4.5m new station were put on hold as the Government assessed public spending as attempts were made to curb the national deficit.

The long-running campaign to create the new station dates back more than a decade – as the scheme was first mooted in the mid-1990s.

The station would serve a local population of about 22,000 and it would be on the cross-Pennine network with trains running to places including Scarborough, York, Leeds and Manchester.

Council bosses have said they hope that the introduction of the station would also help to curb traffic congestion blackspots on the city’s outer ring road and the A64.

The station would be the first stop for trains leaving York on the line to Malton, Seamer and Scarborough.