Benefits of Lynn to Hunstanton railway are dubious
I don’t mean the billion pound environmental disaster being foisted on middle England, but the “Hunstanton Steamer”, our own little Titchfield Thunderbolt.
The latest effort by the old men who want to play trains is a smart little brochure. Pity they can scrape together only four rather dubious benefits that they say their toy would bring to the rest of us.
Top of their list it says it offers “a fast alternative to road travel…with particular benefits for the tourism industry.” Really? Is that what you want? More people swamping our poor little town? With their litter, their noise and their ugly tattoos?
We are also told railway building is cheaper than road building. But the cheapest alternative of all is surely to build nothing!
The pamphlet suggests that the railway “would encourage young people to stay in the area rather than move away to work.” It suggests they could commute by rail to London or Cambridge. Do they not read the almost weekly reports of the failings of the rail link out of Lynn ?
Finally the pamphlet reverts to the supposed environmental benefits. They assert it will reduce car use. Do they seriously think that the many elderly and often infirm residents of Hunstanton will hobble to the station, wait in the cold for a train, clamber on board, be deposited at Lynn station to walk to the shopping centre, load up with goods, and then repeat the journey back ?
When we moved to Hunstanton 20 years ago it was a charming, quiet, small seaside town. That’s why we moved here and I suspect that that was why many others did too. I’m never surprised when those engaged in the holiday trade want to increase tourist numbers – their motivation is plainly pecuniary, but I thought it weird that the most vociferous calls for change often came from people who were born here. Now I understand. They have never lived anywhere else and don’t know how lucky they are.
The only positive thing that that can be said about this scheme is that it is providing a hobby for some retired gents in thinking up good reasons for its existence.