BY Michael Berriman | Friday 4 September 2020
Residents and businesses in Hull are being asked to support the final push in a long campaign to electrify and upgrade the railway lines from Hull to Selby and Hull to Sheffield.
If successful, it could cut journey times from Hull to Leeds from 57 minutes to just 38 minutes, and Hull to Sheffield from 86 minutes to just 50 minutes.
Hull City Council leaders say this long-fought for ambition is now within touching distance, as they push for Hull’s railway line to be upgraded.
Reliable rail connectivity is crucial for the city’s economic growth, and if plans for the Northern Powerhouse Rail go ahead, it could potentially put 1.1m people and 31,000 businesses within 90 minutes of Hull.
Councillor Daren Hale, deputy leader of Hull City Council and Hull’s representative on Transport for the North Board, said: "The council is confident that a positive decision has never been closer and is within grasp.
"Our transport officers and I have lobbied at every board meeting that the first phase of development should be from Hull. Unlike elsewhere on the TransPenine routes, work here can start straightaway, and would be a quick win. Our plans involve few extra land purchases, no tunnel widening, and no re-routing.
"And now it is our duty to get the support of our fellow local authority and business leaders, to ensure Hull is fast-tracked before the finished plans go forward to Government next spring."
The electrification will form part of plans to electrify the full TransPennie route between Manchester and Hull. Upgrading this critical route is important and will mean improved reliability and journey times, is more environmentally friendly, and will ensure that new rolling stock can run right across the network.
Cllr Hale said: "During the Covid-19 pandemic, the way in which we access public transport has dramatically changed. In order to successfully recover from this, we need to ensure our city has reliable and extensive connections to the other great cities in the north. For this to work, we need reliable rail and road links now, more than ever.
"In order to garner support and secure this investment, we want local residents and businesses to play their part and publicly show their support for our campaign."
To support the campaign on social media, use #electrifyhull or email firstname.lastname@example.org