Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting IGNEWS to 80360, or email
Railway campaigners give update on electrification bid
Campaigners fighting for the electrification of the Leeds to Harrogate railway line put their case to a public meeting.
Supporters of the scheme say it would improve the quantity, quality and reliability of trains on the route, which runs through Horsforth.
The scheme would also include a potential new parkway station to improve access to Leeds Bradford Airport.
A total of 48 people, including members of the Harrogate Line Supporters Group, turned out for the meeting called by RailFuture Yorkshire despite bad weather forecasts.
They were given the latest information in a presentation by project director Mark Leving, and Brian Dunsby, chief executive of Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce.
The meeting also heard from Graham North, from North Yorkshire County Council.
The presentation stressed: “Electrification forms a fundamental, essential and urgent cornerstone of the strategy to fulfil increased capacity and improved frequency and accessibility along this vital orbital route.”
Campaigners say the line is estimated to be the most crowded after the Trans-Pennine route, but that the clear problems were not currently acknowledged or represented in the industry plans.
In their presentation Mr Levy and Mr Dunsby said: “This is both unacceptable and inequitable, regionally and nationally.”
They told the meeting there was currently insufficient capacity to carry passengers between Burley Park, Headingley, Horsforth and Harrogate – with increasingly frequent instances of passengers being left behind.
But the meeting heard that good progress was being made by North Yorkshire County Council and Metro in preparing a detailed business case for upgrading the line for submission to the Department for Transport this spring.
In a message to supporters after the meeting Mr Dunsby said: “Please do anything you can to support our campaign for electrification of the line which will then enable an increased frequency of faster modern trains and some new stations along the line.
“We especially need large parkway stations near Leeds Bradford Airport and at Flaxby Moor with large park-and-ride facilities to encourage modal shift from car to train.”