Beverley to York rail: Bid to rebuild direct rail between Beverley and York backed by local MP
The original York-Beverley line closed in 1965 after carrying passengers for 100 years. A decades-long campaign to revive it has been waged by the Minsters Rail group.
Now, Graham Stuart, the Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness, has pressed the case for reopening the line after a meeting with Huw Merriman, the Rail Minister. “The Humber Energy Estuary is the driver of growth in the UK, and connecting the great university cities of Hull and York would light a rocket under our region,” Mr Stuart said.
He added: “I want to see graduates of our world-class universities have well-paid jobs and clear career pathways to make staying in the Humber region the logical decision. The railway would make towns like Beverley a bigger part of the nation’s future.”
Mr Stuart was joined at the meeting by the Labour MPs Diana Johnson (Hull North) and Emma Hardy (Hull West and Hessle). The discussions followed the unveiling of the Network North plan earlier this month, with the Government pledging £19.8bn to infrastructure in the North, paid for with cash from the scrapped HS2 high-speed line between Birmingham and Manchester.
The plans include £3bn for rail electrification between Hull and Leeds and Sheffield., though the Governments political opponents have pointed out that previous pledges to upgrade East Yorkshire lines have come to nought.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper refused to commit to a date for electrification of the Hull-Selby line when questioned by Dame Diana in Parliament. However, Mr Stuart said that the meeting with Mr Merriman showed that the project was indeed on the Government’s agenda. And in a statement published following the meeting, Mr Stuart said that new money freed up from HS2 presented a unique opportunity for a new Beverley to York line.
The 31-mile Beverley to York railway line was completed in 1865, but became a victim of the Beeching cuts in the mid-1960s. In 2005, feasibility studies commissioned by East Riding Council showed that reinstating the line would be feasible and achievable. Further impetus was provided in 2019 when Boris Johnson announced plans to reinstate old lines.
Roy Begg of the Minster Rail campaign group said the work on the project to date showed that there was still belief that the line would one day be reality. In 2021, the Government gave the go-ahead for a business case to be drawn up for the line, which would include stations in Stamford Bridge, Pocklington and Market Weighton.