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Does Norwich need a second railway station?

Norwich Railway Station. Commuters passengers passing throught the barriers to the trains. Photo : Steve Adams

Norwich Railway Station. Commuters passengers passing throught the barriers to the trains. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2014

A second railway station is needed in Norwich to cope with growing numbers of commuters, campaigners have argued.

Norwich railway station. Opened in 1844 to serve Norfolk's first railway from Yarmouth to Norwich, the station was rebuilt in 1886. Known as Norwich Thorpe from 1849 to 1969 to distinguish it from the city's two other railway stations, Victoria and City.; Photo: Bill SmithNorwich railway station. Opened in 1844 to serve Norfolk's first railway from Yarmouth to Norwich, the station was rebuilt in 1886. Known as Norwich Thorpe from 1849 to 1969 to distinguish it from the city's two other railway stations, Victoria and City.; Photo: Bill Smith

Some cities across the country have opened new stations to help cope with growing passenger numbers, with Cambridge North serving the 
city’s Science Park by connecting it to commuters in places like Norwich and Thetford.

Now the Norwich Society, a group which campaigns for development sensitive to the area’s history, believes the area could benefit from another station on the outskirts of the city.

It has even come up with four suggested locations for new rail stops – Thickthorn, Dunston, Dussindale and Postwick – which it believes would be best placed to alleviate traffic and attract passengers.

“First, forcing drivers to come into the city centre to catch a train adds to the traffic on an already-overloaded road system and, for many people, increases the overall journey time,” said 
Adam Francis and Paul Burall in a Norwich Society column for the EDP’s sister paper the Norwich Evening News.

Trains at Norwich Railway Station. rails/lines/overhead power lines/platform. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYTrains at Norwich Railway Station. rails/lines/overhead power lines/platform. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“Second, providing an alternative public transport route into the city would also benefit commuters and could help serve important commercial centres such as the Broadland Business Park.

“Without such a new fast public transport link into Norwich, the number of additional cars on the already busy and slow A140 is likely to be a major headache for drivers and require an expensive upgrade of the road.”

However, Martin Wilby, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s environment, development and transport committee, said it was important to look at the whole of the city’s travel infrastructure, not just rail. He also said the new Greater Anglia rail franchise is likely to improve train travel.

“I’m always happy to look at proposals to improve infrastructure in Norfolk,” he said. “That could include rail or road.

Norwich Railway Station. Commuters passengers passing throught the barriers to the trains. Photo : Steve AdamsNorwich Railway Station. Commuters passengers passing throught the barriers to the trains. Photo : Steve Adams

“In London, they’re going to spend a lot of money to improve capacity – I’m no rail expert but there could be investment in the current stations.

“Park and rides work fantastically round the city and are an example of public transport working well.”

But Mr Francis and Mr Burall said: “Cambridge North and park and ride rail stations elsewhere have demonstrated major benefits.

“It is time for Norwich to catch up.”

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