PLANS to build a railway station at James Cook University Hospital have been put on hold after the local authorities decided to wait until next year to apply for funding.
The station would allow easy transport for Whitby patients travelling to the hospital, but the joint Tees Valley authorities decided to apply for funding for other projects this year.
James Cook University Hospital director of planning, Jill Moulton, said: “We believe this would be of great benefit to staff, patients and visitors.
“The trust does have a healthy transport and travel policy and given the current car parking pressures on the site, a rail link at the back of The James Cook University Hospital will offer an alternative solution for many people, instead of using their cars.”
The hospital is one of the largest employers of Whitby residents and the proposals to develop the Esk Valley railway line will give confidence that other employment opportunities on Teesside will be made available to commuters from Whitby.
Coun Niall Carson said: “Passengers on the Esk Valley Railway have increased in the last year by more than 10%.
“The biggest employer in the area is James Cook Hospital so if we can get the commuter trains running it will also open up employment opportunities in Middlesbrough.”
The joint authorities have submitted an expression of interest to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund and hope to submit an application for funding next spring.
In the meantime they are working together with Northern Rail to develop a detailed plan for the line.