The limited train services running to and from Whitby have been criticized in the House of Lords.
During a presentation of a report made by the Lords’ seaside regeneration Select Committee made last week, Lord Faulkner described the Middlesbrough to Whitby service as “inadequate”.
The Future of Seaside Towns report, published earlier this year, found poor transport links were “central to the problems faced by many coastal areas,” and have a negative impact on investment and growth of the visitor economy.
The Select Committee recommended the Department for Transport prioritises improvements to the coastal transport network in future investment plans.
However, the Government’s response said local authorities were “best placed to prioritise investments in their local area.”
Lord Faulkner continued: “I looked forward to the Government’s response and hoped to read a commitment that they would support the reopening of some rail lines to seaside towns and the improvement of services where they still exist. I regret that the Government’s response falls well short of any commitment of that sort.”
The discussion in the Lords highlighted that Whitby was badly let down in the 1960s by rail line closures, and continued to be left “at the end of the line”.
Though Lord Faulkener praised the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, he added heritage railways can’t provide the seven-days-a-week, year-round service of the national network.
Speaking on behalf of the Governemnt, Lord Bourne of Aberystyth admitted: “Whitby has been left without a valuable connection to the south.”
Select Committee Chairman Lord Bassam warned if action wasn’t taken soon to reverse the decline seen in some coastal communities, many of the problems they face would become “intractable and irreversible.”