Commuter’s call for new station in Lynn to ease rail pressure

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As rail passenger numbers in West Norfolk continue to rise, one commuter has called for a brand new station to be built on the edge of Lynn.

Andrew Ellison, who regularly travels by train from Lynn to work in Cambridge, believes a new interchange is needed in the south of the town to combat congestion.

Although rail campaigners have previously backed the idea, transport officials say longer trains, rather than a new station, are a better solution.

But Mr Ellison, of Blackborough End, believes the time has come for radical action to meet growing demand and fears it will only get worse if nothing is done, particularly if new housing schemes are given the go-ahead.

He said: “Something needs to be done before it gets really bad.”

Mr Ellison spoke out after figures published last month showed the number of people using the stations at Lynn, Watlington and Downham had risen by almost seven per cent in just one year.

More than 1.6 million passengers used the three stations in total during the year to the end of March 2015, making West Norfolk one of the fastest growing areas in the country for rail passenger growth.

But Mr Ellison said passengers who have to drive to those stations from other parts of the borough are already finding it difficult to use them because of traffic congestion and limited parking.

He believed a new parkway station should be built near the Hardwick Narrows estate, with large car parks and link roads from the Hardwick and Saddlebow roundabouts, as well as the A10.

But Network Rail, the body responsible for maintaining the network, said it would take several years to fully assess whether a new station was needed.

The company is looking at introducing longer trains to the line during 2016. A report will be presented to the government in the spring.

A spokesman said yesterday: “Our current analysis is that increasing demand can best be met by the introduction of longer trains rather than new stations.”

Local authorities can also fund a new station and borough council chiefs have been urged to press for a new station as part of future developments at the southern end of Lynn.