I was quite interested to read the letter in last weeks Gazette regarding locals receiving a discount on North Yorkshire Moors Railway services.
You may not be aware of this, but residents of Goathland and Grosmont qualify for a free pass to allow them to visit the market in Pickering on a Monday. Unfortunately I must disagree with the suggestion that Whitby residents receive cheap fares as it is partly their taxes that funded the Bridge 30 project.
Firstly as I recall, most, if not all of the money from NYCC was actually an EU grant for discretionary spending on local transport projects, so it is unlikely that many Whitby residents contributed their taxes to it.
Secondly, Whitby Abbey consumes far more government money than was awarded to the NYMR, and the only way local residents can get discounts from English Heritage is to climb over the wall.
Thirdly our Whitby based Esk Valley Rail Partnership have a fine scheme whereby you can apply for an Esk Valley Railcard (that does admittedly cost you a few pounds), which gets you a discount on NYMR trains and on Northern Rail services to Middlesbrough and is only available to local residents.
This is far more useful than any fleeting discount scheme for local folks on NYMR trains (and they are a business don’t forget, no profit means no steam trains into Whitby), and using the train to go to Boro shopping is better for the environment.
Finally the NYMR publish vouchers in this fine publication at least once a year allowing quite a decent discount (two for one last time I think), so if you carry on buying the paper you can have a cheap trip on the train next time. There are plenty of ways locals can get a cheap ride on the steam train so any further scheme would probably be rather pointless.
Alternatively if you can take the time to consider and write a letter to the editor of the Whitby Gazette, you probably have enough spare time to volunteer on the railway, which will get you unlimited free travel for yourself and a modest amount of free tickets for your family/friends thus eliminating your gripe in the first place!
Alastair Dalgleish, Goathland Resident and occasional NYMR volunteer by email