Friday, 10 September 2010
To York And Back
I went to York for the first PWI meeting of the autumn last night and one thing really struck as I drove home.
The A1079 is now littered with speed cameras and long limits well below the national speed limit - I believe for 'safety' reason though if it's busy you'd do well get near the lower limit yet when it's quite it is so frustrating not being able to get anywhere near sixty on such a wide main road. As such, if I'm on my own I often leave the main road and head home on the more minor roads where I can easily follow the route of the former Beverley - York line. With the low limits on the main road, this little diversion doesn't actually much to your journey time at all!
It may seem odd to have followed the line like this so many times but it still holds my interest and so many times I notice a little remnant which I'd missed previosuly; it may only be a disused gatepost but it's another little piece of evidence that this line once existed.
One thing which struck me as I drove home was how perfect the railway would have been for my journeys last night. I could have walked to village station (assuming it could have reopened as it closed in 1959!) and caught a direct train to York, not sat in traffic in the centre of York for twenty-five minutes and very easily walked to the meeting! On the way back a short walk after the meeting to the station and then back on a late train and then a stroll from the station to our house. I could even have met a friend for a drink afterwards, I could have had a couple of pints too as I wouldn't be driving! Would be fantastic, wouldn't it?
Will it ever happen? Well, we've looked at this before but there have been a few interesting references published recently. The Minsters' Rail Campaign's website has some interesting items in its news section.
If you look at the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's website for their Local Development Framework and browse the Allocations Development Plan Document section a number of the schedules mention "Site within potential area identified for proposed Beverley to York railway line" and various maps "Potential route for Hull to York railway".
So a statement of intent? A pipe dream? Or a naive idea by people who don't really understand the true cost? Well I hope I'm way of the mark on the latter. But who knows? One thing I do think is that spending money which may go on HS2 would probably be of more economic benefit to many areas if it was spent on reopening or upgrading lines which could really benefit communities.
Maybe I'm idealistic - recent events have seen me really reassesing what I think and fell is important and questioning many things and drawing new conclusions. Idealism might not be achievable but even if you wish to make a practical and workable solution I think the idealistic starting may still help one reach the best solution. So maybe one day we will see the York - Beverley line's "potential route" realised?