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Port support for King's Lynn to Hunstanton railway plan

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Lynn's port manager has spoken in support of the campaign to reinstate the railway line between Lynn and Hunstanton

The proposal is under consideration for a £50,000 grant under the Department for Transport's Restoring Your Railway scheme after an application was submitted by Norfolk County Council earlier this month.

Port manager Kim Kennedy said: “We would welcome a feasibility study into the reopening of the railway. It would improve connectivity, benefit our operations at the Port, and allow us to continue to keep Britain trading."

The longer 8-carriage Great Northern train service arrives at Platfrom One in King's Lynn.. (45385276)
The longer 8-carriage Great Northern train service arrives at Platfrom One in King's Lynn.. (45385276)

The docks, which are operated by Associated British Ports, operate on a 100-acre site, and handle up to half a million tonnes of cargo annually, including timber and agricultural products.

In the mid-1980s, then docks manager Mike Fell and enterprising British Rail Traffic Manager Peter Risebrow successfully together to revive regular rail freight business, but it was lost to road lorries around 1991 when BR carried out a national cost-cutting policy. The track is still in place, and could relatively easily be restored to use.

The former station at the docks in Lynn could be reconnected with the 15 mile line that would run from Lynn to Hunstanton, via Dersingham, Snettisham and Heacham.

North West Norfolk MP James Wild also included a station at the docks in his comments, along with the potential for a new Queen Elizabeth Hospital site close to the railway with a dedicated station.

He said a new railway ticks so many boxes, 'levelling up' the economy by reducing the exodus of young people by improving access to job opportunities in Cambridge and London, as well as education and leisure.

Mr Wild adds: “It would stimulate the tourism and hospitality sector, which accounts for a fifth of all local income, and reduce the worryingly high carbon emissions from the severely congested A149 road.”

The Hunstanton railway revival campaign petition reached over 7,600 signatures last month.

Spokesman Howard Johnston is urging Lynn News readers to show their support for the campaign at http://www.hunstantonrail.org.uk

The bid for Government money has reached the third and final round of the Restoring Your Railway scheme, but it faces fierce opposition from 90 others.

COO Rosanne Winjberg, for the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The railway will create jobs and greatly benefit and stimulate the visitor economy. Clean growth is the golden thread of our local industrial strategy and trains will greatly assist the development of a multi-modal, low carbon transport network.”

Estelle Hook, manager of the Norfolk Coast Partnership, adds: “We, the guardian of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), support the King’s Lynn-Hunstanton Railway Campaign Group.

“The coast is an area of remarkable beauty, diversity and scientific importance, facing huge external pressures, including climate change, sea level rise, erosion and flooding.

“We want non-car travel to minimise negative impacts on the area and its communities, reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality."

To add your support to the bid – email KLHRC at hunstantonrail@outlook.com

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