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Fresh campaign for Horsforth railway line upgrade has been launched
9:00am Monday 21st October 2013 in Local news
A campaign for the electrification of a railway line which runs through Horsforth has stepped up a gear with the publication of a detailed business case.
The arguments in favour of the upgrade to the Leeds-Harrogate-York rail line are now set to be presented to Government ministers.
Local politicians, business leaders and other stakeholders met at Harrogate Station on Friday to officially launch the next stage of the campaign to electrify the Leeds to York line.
Supporters of the scheme will now press home the case for electrification to the Government by demonstrating the benefits it will bring to the local economy.
Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones has worked with local councils, Chambers of Trade and Commerce, East Coast Northern Rail, Metro and Network Rail to prepare a comprehensive business case to present to the Department for Transport.
He said: “Electrification could mean faster trains, twice as many trains per hour, plus more early morning and late evening services. It also means upgraded rolling stock, replacing the tired diesel trains operating now. I know from my postbag how welcome this dramatic change in our rail services would be to commuters and other rail users.”
Proposed improvements also include additional car parking at most of the stations on the line, and the creation of a new Leeds Bradford Airport Parkway Station.
The analysis and preparation of the Business Case has been funded by North Yorkshire County Council, Metro, the City of York and Harrogate Borough Council.
Network Rail and Northern Rail have supported the work with technical and commercial data, while Harrogate Chamber provided extensive demographic and market research data plus feedback on customer needs and technical issues from the present 160 members in the Harrogate Line Supporters Group.
The detailed engineering design work shows an estimated capital cost of £93 million, while the cost-benefit analysis shows a return to the local economy of £3.60 for every £1 invested in the scheme. The business case is now being submitted to the Ministers in the Treasury and the Dept for Transport to seek funding for the scheme. Harrogate Chamber of Trade President Sandra Doherty said: “This business case substantiates all that the Chamber has been campaigning for since 2008 when we first highlighted the need for both direct trains to and from London and a higher quality, higher frequency local train service between Harrogate, Leeds and York.”
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