Letter: Transport - Rail link is an old chestnut

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It is only to be expected that the Ripon Gazette will be Ripon-centric (the clue is in the title) but perhaps it should realise that a part of its readership lies outwith the boundaries of Ripon City Council.

Your gung-ho headline “Reopened city rail link back on the agenda” (February 4) totally ignores the fact that existing communities lie in the path of any such route, whether on the previous or a future track.

The previous line has been built on at several points (specifically Wormald Green and Littlethorpe) and used for housing, business enterprises, equestrian activity and garden extensions.

It is ironic that while the Mayor of Ripon celebrates the upgrading of the 36 bus route that this old chestnut reappears.

With regard to the costs involved, the 2004 JMP report (now 12 years old) estimated £50-60 million, although this did not include land acquisition costs, the building of a new station at Ripon and there is also the impact of inflation across this period.

These figures would need to be radically revised upwards into the hundreds of millions, rather than the tens. Quite where this money would come from is unclear, which indicates the huge gap between aspiration and reality.

Dr Adrian Morgan is chairman of the Leeds Northern Railway Reinstatement Group (although it’s unclear how large or representative this body is) and also a Ripon City Councillor.

It is to be hoped that he makes a declaration of interest regarding the former at each meeting he attends in the latter capacity.

In this respect, it is noticeable that Ripon City Council has failed to enter details of standing orders, agendas, minutes, data protection policy, complaints procedure, register of assets, risk assessment register and financial statements on the appropriate HBC transparency website, as required, which would enable this to be clear.

John Edmonstone

Chairman, Littlethorpe Parish Council