Downham Market GP calls for return of the Lynn to Norwich train
More than 600 people have already signed a petition by a Downham GP calling for the train line between Lynn and Norwich to be reinstated.
Created by West Norfolk Green Party’s Pallavi Devulapalli, the petition proposes a regular train service on the line which could help reduce traffic and road traffic accidents on the A47 while improving connectivity between the city and rural towns.
Pallavi said: “This is something I’m so passionate about. I think it would solve a lot of problems in Norfolk.
“We’re a county with a capital city that is inaccessible to so many people unless they take the bus, which takes a long time and only goes to the centre, or they drive.
“It would improve connectivity with West Norfolk and would give a big boost to tourism. The train would take traffic off the roads and could help Norfolk meet our pollution targets
She was inspired to launch the petition following her own experiences of commuting to Norwich. “I’ve done that journey and it takes an hour out of your day where you can’t work, but commuters could continue to work on a train,” she said.
“It has a real impact on peoples’ lives and their ability to work or volunteer in Norwich. We are one county and we need to start acting like it.”
It’s believed the train service would have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of commuters by allowing them to use bicycles on their commute and reducing stress levels, while boosting productivity.
The plea follows last week’s Lynn News report that North-West Norfolk county councillor Andrew Jaimieson is urging West Norfolk businesses and residents to support the bid to rebuild the Lynn-Hunstanton railway.
Borough councillor Tom Ryves, for Methwold Ward, said: “It potentially makes sense only if the Wymondham to East Dereham branch is reopened, something which NCC is promoting, and is more likely than not to happen (if not in this first round of re-opening funding) because the lines are still in place and therefore the re-opening cost is much lower.
“This former railway is also still live at the Lynn end, with what is now known as the Sand Line. So, for reinstating about 25 miles and one new station (at Swaffham), so long as the Dereham towards Norwich bit happens, buys a 45 to 50 mile long railway bringing considerable additional connectivity to Swaffham and Dereham. For what it is worth, I think it makes sense to sign, and there’s nothing to lose.”
Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways, infrastructure and transport at Norfolk County Council, said: “While we do not have any statutory power over railway provision, and would advise the organisers of this campaign to contact the Department for Transport, we are keen to improve active travel that falls under our remit at the county council.
“As part of that we are working with the borough council on the King’s Lynn transport strategy which is looking to improve cycling and walking infrastructure amongst other things.
“We are aware of the congestion suffered by residents and businesses on a daily basis on the A47, which is why, as a member of the A47 Alliance, we’re continuing to press the government for the long awaited A47 dualling and junction improvements right along that route from Great Yarmouth to Peterborough.”
The petition can be found at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/reinstate-the-train-connection-from-kings-lynn-to-norwich