York Outer’s MP hopes trains will stop at Haxby “by the end of next year” while the government backtracks on other Network North measures.
Julian Sturdy, who has been MP for York Outer since 2010, has welcomed the news that the government is planning to reopen Haxby train station, which has been closed since 1930.
Its revival is part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Network North plans to reinvest the money that was originally being spent on the northern leg of HS2.
“It is fantastic news that, after nearly a century, railway services will return to Haxby,” Mr Sturdy said, adding that “reopening Haxby Railway Station has been a key campaign for me since I was first selected as a parliamentary candidate in 2007.”
He said: “It is a testament to the strength of its case for reopening that Haxby is one of only a handful of stations to now receive full backing.
“I met with the minister for rail only last month to once again press the case for Haxby and I am pleased he has responded so positively.
“The final piece of the puzzle will be for full planning permission to be granted, with the hope for the first trains stopping in Haxby by the end of next year.”
Luke Charters, Labour’s candidate hoping to unseat Mr Sturdy at the next general election, said: “I lived in Haxby when I was a pupil at Huntington School, and like many, want to see Haxby station delivered.
“Promises such as Haxby station are being reheated and served up again to cover up the government’s historic u-turn on HS2.
“In 13 years, the invisible Conservative MP for York Outer has failed to deliver the local rail and road infrastructure we desperately need.”
Locals had mixed views on the return of Haxby station when speaking with the Local Democracy Reporting Service on Monday, October 9.
“I think it is going to be a white elephant,” Andrea Ward said.
Her husband Colin Ward added: “I don’t know what the main intention of it is.
“I don’t think it will be used by older people,” while the couple commented that it is cheaper to use the bus.
Richard Beaven said: “It’s a vanity project,” and Helen Taylor added : “There’s no infrastructure planned for the roads.
“If they are planning on lots of people coming in, is there room? Where’s the infrastructure for that?
“I don’t think they have given it a lot of thought, to be honest.”
Another Haxby resident, Andy Murray, said: “I do think it is a good idea if it’s accessible [but]
I’m not sure what the parking situation will be like.”
The northern leg of HS2, between Birmingham and Manchester, was cancelled at the Conservative Party conference last week.
Mr Sunak has pledged to spend the £36bn that it would cost to finish that part of the line on improving transport infrastructure in the north.
But parts included in the Network North plan have already been scaled back, including the Leamside Line in the North East.
Mark Harper, the transport secretary, told the BBC that some measures in the plans were “examples” of “the sorts of things that that money could be spent on.”
“This is why we can’t trust a single word they say,” shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh said.
A Department for Transport spokesperson said: “The City of York Council and Network Rail are currently finalising an outline business case, funded from our Restoring Your Railway programme, for the proposed Haxby station.
“This will inform further decisions on funding and timing.”