THE idea of re-instating a railway link between Beverley and York is “very clearly currently unaffordable”, Driffield town council has been told.
Campaigners believe that re-opening the long defunct line would bring enormous medium and long term benefits to the people, economy and environment of East Yorkshire, including Driffield.
And the town council had asked the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to fund another study into the reinstatement of the link.
But East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor Symon Fraser said: “The idea of re-instating the railway line between Beverley and York is very clearly currently unaffordable under any source of funding of which we are aware.”
Coun Fraser, who represents the Driffield and rural ward, explained: “There are significant and increasing challenges to the potential success of any efforts to revisit the possibility of the re-opening of this long since abandoned railway route.
“A significant hurdle is perhaps encountered in the fact that the rebuild of this rail route does not feature within the scope of any of the National or Regional strategic railway infrastructure plans.
“Furthermore, in 2005, when we last commissioned, in partnership with neighbouring local authorities and other key stakeholders, an independent study to assess the feasibility of reopening the railway line the study concluded that the likely cost of such a project would be circa £239 million.
“This was based on 2005 prices and would be likely to be significantly greater now.
“The importance of this is that under the new funding arrangements for major transport schemes, the Department of Transport has stated that the allocation for the whole of the Humber area is in the region of £20million.”
Coun Fraser said: “At this time, in the knowledge of the above difficulties I do not believe it would be prudent to spend further taxpayers money to recommission the earlier feasibility study.”
“On a more positive note, we are doing what we can to ensure that transport links between Beverley and York are maintained and improved whenever we are able to do so. We are also keen to see improved bus services and facilities along the A1079, again improving connectivity between Beverley and York.”