Norfolk County Council agree plans to recycle idle railway tracks for cycle paths

Hunstanton rail link; last train
Hunstanton rail link; last train

Council Chiefs have voted to bring disused railways back into use by turning them into cycle and walking routes.

Officials say transforming West Norfolk’s disused railways would introduce a number of health benefits as well as reduce traffic congestion around the region.

Members of Norfolk County Council’s policy and resources committee agreed to change the use of former tracks at a meeting at County Hall in Norwich on Monday.

Development portfolio holder, Tom McCabe said the Lynn to Hunstanton railway and the Lynn to Fakenham railway have potential to be turned into full-use cycle and walking routes.

He said: “It is recommended that officers investigate the feasibility of using disused railways and other underused parts of the transport system to improve cycling and walking links,

“The work will focus on connecting urban areas and market towns with places of employment, education, retail and leisure.

“Three disused railways will be investigated as a pilot, Weaver’s Way, King’s Lynn to Fakenham and King’s Lynn to Hunstanton.”

The project is estimated to cost £350,000 and take 12 months to complete. This work includes specific feasibility studies of three railways as well as a scope for bringing a county-wide network into new use.

John Maiden, of the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton Railway Project, said: “Speaking on behalf of the project, we believe the least they can do is leave the track bed as it is for its original purpose.

“The land should be bought back into public use and we feel when they come to try and purchase the land, they should buy up land surrounding the tracks to create a cycle route and walk way to run alongside the original track bed.

“We think their proposal is quite short sighted. All those I have spoken to agree it should be put into public ownership and agree the track bed should remain in place for its original use.”