Rail operator Northern trying to block 'family friendly' pub opening at Moorthorpe Railway Station

Train operator Northern is trying to block a brewery's plans to run a "family-friendly" railway station pub.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 5:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 5:48 pm

Train operator Northern is trying to block a brewery's plans to run a "family-friendly" railway station pub.

Jolly Boys Brewery have applied for a licence to reopen The Mallard at Moorthorpe Station, near South Kirkby.

The premises has been a pub serving thirsty passengers before, and was most recently a cafe until it closed down.

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Northern has filed an objection over the plans, in part due to a fear of crime at the station.

Jolly Boys, which already runs real ale boozers in Wakefield and Barnsley, could serve pizza slices and toasties, as well as drink, under the plans.

But Northern has objected to the plans, citing fears around crime and drunks falling onto the railway tracks.

Councillors in Wakefield are set to decide whether or not to approve the licence next week.

In its application, Jolly Boys said it will, "Offer a safe, family-friendly environment where everyone will feel welcome and safe.

The brewery already runs a popular real ale pub on Northgate, in the centre of Wakefield.

"The building is in good order with ample outside space. The interior alterations are minor.

"We hope The Mallard will be of interest to the community as well as to the large real ale community beyond Wakefield."

The brewery also says it hopes to host a 'lads and dads' film club, and may even play kids' movies on weekends.

Children accompanied by their families will be welcome until 9pm each night, they said.

Jolly Boys added: "We will ensure the environment is conducive to our values of warmth, trust and friendship, and will keep the premises safe."

But Northern said it had concerns about the venue becoming a pub once again.

In its objection to the plans, the firm's community safety manager Lyndsey Sherwood wrote: "The previous public house at this location experienced anti-social behaviour which had a knock-on impact (on) the safe operations of the railway, leading to incidents at the station and on-board services.

"Where alcohol is involved, the possibility for inappropriate behaviour is increased."

"As well as a stopping passenger service calling at the location from early morning until late evening, express and freight services pass through this location at 60 mph throughout the day and night."

Northern has requested that if the licence is granted, the pub uses a door which opens out onto a station platform as an emergency exit only.

The operator said this would,"Prevent any accidental incursions onto the track, or interference with the safe operations of the railway."

British Transport Police have supported Northern's comments and also registered an objection of their own.

Local Democracy Reporting Service