After 30 years of campaigning to bring back the city’s railway, Ripon City Council has agreed to underwrite the £18,000 cost of a study investigating its feasibility.
Coun Stuart Martin said: “We need to get the railway feasibility study done now. We have only got until the end of September to get it submitted to the relevant body to assess whether it is feasible in the long term.
“Every journey starts with the first step, and this study is an important step to take.
“Having a railway would encourage more tourism back into the city and it would take an awful lot of traffic off the A61.
“If it links to Harrogate that would be great. The 36 bus is a good service, but this would be nice to have.
“Taking this step shows leadership to the wider area, and hopefully by doing this it also shows that Ripon means business, and it will put our city back to where it belongs, at the top.”
Coun Andrew Williams said: “Ripon is a great place to live, a great place to come and visit, and a great place to shop. This study will demonstrate that it is financially viable to bring a railway back to Ripon.”
The Mayor of Ripon, Coun Adrian Morgan, said: "This will be fantastic for Ripon, it is 50 years in March since we lost the railway. I came to Ripon just as it closed in 1967, and I have watched Ripon's economy very slowly decline.
"The teacher training college provided Ripon with £4m for the local economy, and the principal of the college told me that it was closing because of the railway closing. People were going to York for the rail line.
"We are looking at having a train every 30 minutes from Ripon at the moment.
"It is great news that I have got the council on my side and that everyone is pulling in the same direction. It was a huge loss for Ripon when the railway closed, and it would give the city such a boost.
"It will be a long time before a railway returns to Ripon if this goes ahead. We would probably be looking at 10 years, but the study is a move forward."