A rail expert in Bradford has urged train operators to run more summer services to the coast to boost the resurgence of people taking holidays at home.

Clive Barton, long-standing member of Bradford Rail Users’ Group, said economic conditions meant foreign holidays were a luxury many could not afford, meaning there could be demand for more UK holidays.

He said: “There’s been a resurgence of people taking holidays at home and places like Scarborough and Blackpool are rubbing their hands in anticipation.

“This is a chance for the train companies, but they just don’t seem to be going after that market at the moment.”

Mr Barton, 63, said Bradford used to have direct services to seaside resorts but many had been withdrawn over the years.

One example was the Jolly Fisherman service to Skegness – a train that was recreated on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in 2008 to mark its centenary.

Mr Barton said he remembered when a summer service used to operate from Bradford to Penzance. He said there was also documented evidence dating back to the 1940s and 1950s showing no fewer than 12 trains operating from Otley to Scar-borough on summer Sundays.

In a wider context, Mr Barton said Bradford had lost many of its direct rail links with key UK cities over recent decades.

A spokesman for Northern Rail said: “In general, for a specific train such as those Mr Barton is suggesting, we would normally support a third party, in the sense that they would effectively ‘charter’ a train from us having already demonstrated there was a real market and demand for the service such as through advance ticket sales.

“That said, holidays aren’t just about the coast and we support people exploring the north every day. We serve fantastic destinations all across the north of England including coast, city and countryside.”