North Yorkshire County Council has taken the first step in what is anticipated to be a multi-million pound modernisation and improvement of services on the York – Harrogate – Leeds rail line.
At a meeting this week, the NY Local Transport Body supported a proposal to invest £12.5m in the line. It was recommended that a contribution of £9.6m be made available from the North Yorkshire Local Transport Body. This funding is provided by the Department for Transport and is ring-fenced for major transport schemes.
The county council, Metro, City of York Council and Harrogate Borough Council, together with key stakeholders Network Rail, Northern and Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce, have been working with consultants looking into the modernisation of the York – Harrogate – Leeds Rail Line. This transformational project would see the electrification of the line, providing a boost to the local economy and bringing massive benefits for businesses, visitors and locals along the route.
The initiative would secure:
• doubling of service frequency together with additional early morning and evening trains;
• end to end journey time reduction of 15 minutes;
• the introduction of higher quality, lower cost electric trains;
• improving connectivity and economic productivity within the region;
• enhanced connections to national and international destinations and markets;
• improved reliability and punctuality
The scheme represents extremely good value for money given the very high benefit to cost ratio and lower operating costs in the future.