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Government to examine King's Lynn to Hunstanton railway bid

The campaign to restore the rail link between Lynn and Hunstanton appears to have been given a major boost this week.

That’s because the project has been included on a shortlist of schemes, published yesterday, to be considered for a share of a £500 million government funding pot to restore lines closed by the Beeching cuts of the 1960s.

Only 10 of the 50 shortlisted schemes are expected to progress to the next stage, with a decision due to be made later this summer.

King's Lynn rail station (37685255)
King's Lynn rail station (37685255)

But the King’s Lynn-Hunstanton rail group, which has the backing of North West Norfolk MP James Wild, believes its case is strong.

Group spokesman Howard Johnston said yesterday: “We are delighted to have secured such solid and influential support.

“Boris Johnson has said he wants to equalise the economies of isolated areas such as West Norfolk, and this ticks all his boxes.

Will tourists flock back to Hunstanton by rail one day?
Will tourists flock back to Hunstanton by rail one day?

“People have always said the railway can never come back, and we now hope to overcome all the misconceptions when we approach local councils to brief them on all the latest developments.”

The development is the latest boost to a campaign which has made significant progress in recent months, with Norfolk County Council offering significant support.

North coast county councillor Andrew Jamieson said reviving the line would transform the area’s economic fortunes.

He said: “Opening up the employment market in Cambridge, and maybe as far as London, will be one of the biggest game changers in our area in a generation.”

It is estimated that rebuilding the route, which is one of only two in East Anglia to be shortlisted, could cost more than £100 million.

But Mr Johnston said there are several routes that any new track could take to avoid developments that have occurred since the old line closed in 1969. Plans for 32 new flats on the site of the old station were submitted to West Norfolk Council last month.

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