The prospect of a new railway station to serve a planned 4,000-home development has been talked down by council officials. 

The station would serve the proposed ‘urban extension’ at West Winch, just south of King’s Lynn and, at its narrowest point, would lie about one kilometre from the Fen railway line.

The route runs from Lynn down to Downham Market and onwards to Cambridge and London - and the idea of a new station being created close to the West Winch project has previously been raised.

But at a meeting of the borough council’s regeneration and development panel on Tuesday, January 10, there was little enthusiasm for the idea from council officials, who pointed out the cost and distances involved.

The point came up in a question from independent councillor Alun ‘Tom’ Ryves, who said: “I would like to think that someone, somewhere, within perhaps the county council, is taking a very serious look at the advantages of a new railway station south of King’s Lynn, and what would do for this area.”

Eastern Daily Press: Independent councillor Alun 'Tom' RyvesIndependent councillor Alun 'Tom' Ryves (Image: Sarah Hussain)

But a council officer responded: “I’m slightly confused, because there is no railway going through the site, so you could have a railway station but it does rather need a railway to connect to. 

“You certainly couldn’t divert the railway to run into that site, because it would just make the scheme ludicrously expensive.”

Mr Ryves replied: “Come, come - there is a railway line going south from King’s Lynn, and a station there could be designed. It’s a cycle ride from the site.”

Eastern Daily Press: The Fen railway line, seen from Mill Road, just west of Setchey, and looking north towards King's LynnThe Fen railway line, seen from Mill Road, just west of Setchey, and looking north towards King's Lynn (Image: Google)

The panel’s Conservative chair, Judith Collingham, curtailed the discussion at that point however, saying it was out of the scope of the masterplan document for the development, which was what councillors were discussing.

Officers were more positive about the prospect of creating a new cycle infrastructure to link the development with King’s Lynn. 

An officer said: “We are looking at how the overall King’s Lynn cycle routes can link into West Winch - if there are opportunities to develop those links, then we will do that.”

She added that a proposed cycle path along the Puny Drain could potentially provide connectivity to the existing Lynn and Watlington railway stations by bike.