Hopes remain for new £6.6m railway station on edge of Norwich

Broadland Business Park. Picture: Mike Page

Broadland Business Park. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

Hopes remain that a £6.6m railway station could still be built on the edge of Norwich - after council bosses insisted they will keep pushing to make it a reality.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

In 2016 Broadland District Council began exploring the possibility of creating a rail halt near Broadland Business Park on the Bittern Line.

The proposals would have seen two platforms and a car park built, and the introduction of a more frequent service between Norwich and North Walsham.

Broadland District Council said, at the time, that a study had found a "strong" business case for the work and warranted further research.

They said, while it would cost £6.6m to build, it would generate more than £15m and be used by about 190,000 passengers annually.

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However, in the summer, the council said the project had been put on hold, because the capital and logistical costs were to high for the authority to pursue it in the current climate.

Norfolk County Council met recently to refresh the Norfolk Strategic Infrastructure Plan - a document which sets out the key projects needed in the county over the next 10 years.

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Officers had proposed that the Broadland Business Park railway station be removed from the plan, pending further consideration.

But Labour councillor Danny Douglas, seconded by Liberal Democrat Brian Watkins proposed that the mooted station not be removed from the plan.

And members of the council's infrastructure and development select committee voted to keep it in the plan.

At a meeting of the full county council this week, Labour councillor Jess Barnard asked what council leader Andrew Proctor was doing to ensure and secure a way forward for the project - the biggest scheme in the plan which is not a road. Mr Proctor said: "That particular project was intended to be dropped from the Norfolk Strategic Infrastructure Plan, but has been reinserted, so it is in there as a project going forward.

"I think the councillor is right that this is something that needs to be done. We've had substantial delays in dealing with Network Rail to get this off the ground in one way, shape or form.

"But as far as the Norfolk Strategic Infrastructure Plan goes, it is in there and it will be pushed forward as best as we can."

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