Red-faced rail bosses have apologised to Harrogate business leaders after the debacle which saw a £10million investment into the Harrogate station announced this week, before it emerged the money was in fact meant for Huddersfield.
Network Rail’s Route Managing Director for the area Phil Verster has written to the town’s Chamber of Trade with “profuse apologies” for the embarrassing bungle.
When the announcement was made earlier this week Mr Verster even gave an interview on BBC Radio York about the major plans for Harrogate station before the mistake – since been blamed on “human error” – became clear.
Brian Dunsby, chairman of Harrogate Chamber of Trade, has welcomed the apology.
He said: “We know that there is actually a lot of work being done to upgrade the Harrogate Line, such as the recent replacement of obsolete signalling systems between Leeds, Horsforth and Harrogate.”
But, Mr Dunsby added, there is still work needed to bring Harrogate’s rail services up to scratch.
“For example we are asking for twin-tracking Knaresborough to Cattal; a third platform in Harrogate Station; new Park and Ride stations at Leeds Bradford Airport and Flaxby Moor; and then electrification and modern faster rolling stock operating at double the current frequency for longer hours seven days a week,” he said.
Since the gaffe Network Rail have promised to review “all the customer requirements for Harrogate station” with the Chamber of Trade, with a view to bringing forward some of the improvements planned for passenger in Harrogate.