The Health Secretary has ordered the first step in a top-level review of plans to end consultant-led maternity services at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.
The proposals sparked protests when they were put forward last year.
The NHS says that the changes are down to safety.
If the plans were to go ahead, some mothers would then face a journey to Middlesbrough.
Jeremy Hunt has now asked an independent panel to report back to him next month, as to whether there should be a full review.
More top news
They took a vehicle from Newcastle before driving to North Shields, where they collided with a 72-year-old and left him for dead.
Roger Burrell from Chester-le-Street broke the European record in the 84-89 years category in the 100m in May.
GSK said the cash boost would help build a new sterile facility at Barnard Castle and will create jobs