REOPENING an 11-mile rail link between Harrogate and Ripon would cost £48.2m, consultants have estimated.

The cost for an almost identical route to replace one shut nearly 40 years ago was given to a meeting in Harrogate.

The consultants' report revealed the pros and cons of opening the line within a minimum of ten years. It said that costs over 20 years would be £104.8m, while benefits from the line would be more than £131m.

Campaigners who want to open the line say it would give Ripon a boost by restoring it to the national rail network.

The meeting, in Harrogate International Centre, was organised by North Yorkshire County Council for councillors and other interested groups.

But Councillor Clare Wood, the county's executive transport member, said it was not a consultation, merely to hear results of a study by Leeds-based engineering consultancy Arup, which said the project was viable.

Details about the project are due to appear on the county council's website -www.north -in the next few days.

County highway chief Mike Moore said it was time to bring together the Ripon and Harrogate rail steering group and officers to discuss the project.

Disappointment was expressed that the plans did not include a route to Northallerton, which would link with the East Coast Main Line.

The meeting was told it was not in current plans, but that it had not been totally dismissed.