Malton to Pickering - NYMR ambivalent



http://www.whitbygazette.co.uk/news/Downing-Street-bid-to-link.4622873.jp
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Downing Street bid to link the railways
Published Date: 24 October 2008
By caroline gough
AN ONLINE petition to restore a rail link from Whitby to York and
connect the town to the south has been launched.
It is the brainchild of 18- year- old Ben Hughes, a biomedical
sciences student, who describes himself as being passionate about
railways.

He has submitted an electronic petition to re-open the Malton to
Pickering railway line to Downing Street recently via their website.

Mr Hughes said: “I put this petition online as I am a keen railway
enthusiast and believe that re-opening Malton to Pickering and
upgrading the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) would be of benefit
to North Yorkshire.”

Re-opening the link would mean re-laying track and co-ordinating
services with the NYMR.

The re-opening would result in reduced road congestion and improved
journey times.

Hopes of restoring the rail link were reported in the Gazette in 2002
when Coun Jane Kenyon claimed that Whitby had suffered geographical
and transport isolation since the Beeching rail cuts of the 1960s.

Mr Hughes said: “This may be a sensitive issue, there is general
support for re-opening it because it would enable steam trains to run
from York to Whitby. It will not be worthwhile if Malton- Pickering
and the NYMR were not primarily used for services that people could
use frequently.

“Plans to upgrade the A64 to dual-carriageway have been refused until
2016 because it would cost £500 million.”

The first year undergraduate, from Wombleton, nine miles from
Pickering is currently studying at Sheffield Hallam University.

“I am expecting a negative response to my petition” he said

“I can see the importance of the steam trains as a tourist attraction
but at the same time I feel the A64 gets very overcrowded.

“I have not yet passed my driving test but I am very familiar with
that stretch of road.”

“The petition requests for the NYMR's track to be upgraded to allow
trains to run faster than 25mph.

“Services would make Whitby more accessible as not everyone has a car.
Passengers could work on laptops as they travel.

“This would benefit people along the A64 corridor between Malton and
York, because Whitby's contribution to A64 traffic would be reduced.”

Philip Benham, General Manager NYMR said the petition is not something
they have been directly involved in.

“Currently, our longest journey (Pickering-Whitby) takes one hour and
35 minutes and carries with it a fare of £20 and it has proved to be
very popular. To lengthen the journey by a further seven miles to 31
miles in total, would make it a long journey and more expensive. This
could be a double-edged sword.

“Ultimately the NYMR is known for being a good value, leisurely day
out.”

Mr Benham pointed out NYMR is a major contributor to the local
economy, helping to attract in excess of £30 million and this could be
jeopardised if Pickering was a through line.

“We are happy to work with any agency that’s got plans, so long as it
is good for the area and good for NYMR. But we don't want to put at
risk the value we bring to the local economy nor the uniqueness of
what we have to offer.” he added.

Anyone wanting to sign the petition should visit
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/malton-pickering/
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