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Aysgarth station Wensleydale railway

E5 – Developing Rail Services

Support the development of rail services and related economic uses along the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle Railway, and measures to re-instate other lines to and within the National Park, including the reinstatement of the Wensleydale Railway to Garsdale, starting with the stretch from Redmire to Aysgarth by 2024.

How are we doing on this objective

Progress: In July 2020 The Upper Wensleydale Railway (UWR) society submitted a bid to the Department for Transport’s ‘Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund’ to reinstate the section of railway line from Hawes to Garsdale Station. The UWR’s bid was unsuccessful. The UWR decided to reapply and in November 2021, the UWR learnt that the re-bid had also been unsuccessful.

Rationale: The Leeds-Settle-Carlisle railway is the only part of the national transport infrastructure located within the Park.  It provides a sustainable and enjoyable journey connecting visitors to the Park and  residents to major service centres and growth areas elsewhere.  It has the potential to support more visitor journeys into the Park and more commuter journeys for residents.  The former Wensleydale Railway route is also a potential economic, visitor and public transport corridor.  Wensleydale Railway PLC has stated its ambition to reach Castle Bolton, and to work with landowners to connect Aysgarth to Redmire.  The Department for Transport and Transport for the North commissioned a study to consider the feasibility and value of re-opening the Colne-Skipton Line – now waiting on an engineering study – which would open up access to a southern gateway into the National Park from Manchester and East Lancashire.

Lead partners:   Network Rail; Wensleydale Railway;  Northern Railway;

Supporting partners:  Skipton East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership; Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company; Leeds-Morecambe Community Rail Partnership; Craven District Council; Eden District Council; Richmondshire District Council; South Lakeland District Council; Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority; Lancaster & Skipton Rail User Group;

Further informationWensleydale Railway;

Cost over 5 years:       £13,000,000 (Wensleydale Railway)

Funding shortfall:      £10,000,000

Related objectives:     B4; D4; E2; E3; E6; F3; F7

Ecosystem services:  Recreation; Sense of place and inspiration; Sense of history

Trade-offs:    Reinstatement of the Wensleydale Railway, and additional economic development activity along the Settle-Carlisle corridor, could potentially have impacts on tranquillity (A2); important historical sites (A6); and wildlife (C2).  These impacts would be assessed, managed or mitigated through policies set out in the Yorkshire Dales Local Plan

Baseline: Timetable as at January 2019 (ie. number of passenger services each way, per day and commentary on their usefulness to residents and visitors). Wensleydale Railway currently open from Northallerton to Redmire.