10th March 2013
Business Case for electrification is
In response to a long reader's letter in the 7th
March issue of the Harrogate Advertiser, Brian Dunsby assured readers that
there is now a very active Harrogate Line Supporters Group and they are
seeing significant progress in terms of justifying the electrification of
the Harrogate Line on several fronts.
The Department for Transport has requested
preparation of a detailed technical study and a business case comparing
costs with benefits for submission in the Spring of 2013. Although there is
no assurance of funding at this stage, our aim is to have this project ready
in the pipeline when the Treasury decides to release additional funding for
investment in further rail electrification.
North Yorkshire County Council, West Yorkshire
PTE (Metro), City of York Council and Harrogate Borough Council have agreed
to fund a consultancy study of the potential costs and benefits of upgrading
the Harrogate Line between Leeds and York via Harrogate and Knaresborough.
The two main transport Authorities, NYCC and Metro, drew up a detailed brief
and then appointed WSP Consultants to carry out the work on the business
case for the Harrogate Line electrification. Harrogate Chamber is one of the
main stakeholders to be involved in the study and we had our first meeting
with WSP on Monday 25th February and the second meeting will be on 22nd
An important part of the study is to compile a
sound basis for forecasting the potential demand for more frequent faster
modern trains on the line and hopefully some additional stations - and much
more car parking at existing stations. We need specific evidence where the
current services are inadequate in terms of capacity, frequency and quality
or in the availability of adequate parking capacity or suitable connections
to public transport.
Naturally we would welcome any recent data on
the numbers of visitors to venues, events and attractions and also on any
property developments or other activities near to the Harrogate Line that
are likely to affect future demand for these rail services. Such evidence
will be vital to substantiate forecasts of passenger growth if and when the
quality and quantity of rail services is improved.
A news bulletin amplifying the above points was
sent to all 120 members of the Harrogate Line Supporters Group on 25th
February and an open meeting is being planned for week commencing 25th March
to review progress on the study.
If you wish to join the group and attend without
any charge, please send an e-mail to