Reinstating Lynn-Hunstanton railway link ‘could save lives’
Restoring the rail link between Lynn and Hunstanton could potentially save lives, councillors have heard.
Campaigners behind the latest fight to restore the line, 50 years after it closed, took their case to a meeting of West Norfolk Council’s regeneration and development panel on Tuesday.
And its chairman, Peter Gidney, indicated the authority would consider setting up a working group to look into the issue.
Howard Johnston, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics, said a line would cost just £2 million a year over the next 50 years if rebuilt.
He argued a new line would connect the centre of Lynn to the centre of Hunstanton in less than 30 minutes and ease congestion on the A149.
He also suggested it could also connect people from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to the centre of Lynn in seven minutes.
He added: “Linkage to the QEH is essential. It could be a life-saver during busy times.”
A direct train would also transport people to Cambridge in 82 minutes.
“We must retain and improve our tourist potential without causing what I call ‘carmageddon’”, Mr Johnston told the meeting.
“Putting the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton line back will help halt the exodus of young people from North West Norfolk and encourage investment.”
The original Lynn to Hunstanton railway was planned by Hunstanton’s founder Henry Le Strange ahead of its first use in October 1862.
Seaside tourism helped the railway line prosper, and by 1937 there were four platforms at Hunstanton station.
However, the line was closed and dismantled in 1969 after direct services to London were stopped.
Hunstanton councillor Richard Bird said: “The problem we have got, dare I say, is that it is a low priority within the borough council and I am not sure the county council even know where the area is!
“This is not just a question of a railway being opened or not.
“Daytrippers do not have any value to the local population. They bring their own set of problems.”
Over 4,000 people have signed an online petition to reinstate a line. This can be found at www.hunstantonrail.org.uk.
More by this authorBen Hardy