New train station in Broadland could cost more than £6.5m

Broadland Business Park. Picture: Mike Page

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

A new railway station on the outskirts of Norwich could cost more than £6.5m to build, a study has revealed.

The idea is being explored by Broadland District Council as part of a package of improvements to the Bittern Line.

It would include a new stop near Broadland Business Park, and a more frequent train service between Norwich and North Walsham.

A recently published study, which aimed to establish a business case for the scheme, said the new station would cost £6,591,431 to build.

Meanwhile, a further £491,588 would be required to operate the facility and an additional half-hourly rail service each year.

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But the scheme could generate more than £15m for the area and will be used by around 190,000 passengers each year.

As part of the proposed changes, the Norwich to North Walsham service would see two trains operate along the line every hour, Monday to Saturday. The study will be presented to Broadland's cabinet next Tuesday, where members will decide whether or not to continue with the idea.

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Cabinet papers state that while the document established a business case for the rail line improvements, further work was needed.

The local authority would now have to consider forming an improvements project board alongside the rail industry partners and other organisations.

One of the options being presented to cabinet members next week is to also commit a further £25,000 to part-fund more detailed work on the scheme.

It is anticipated that funding for the improvements would be shared between various parties, including Broadland, Norfolk County Council, North Norfolk District Council, the New Anglia LEP and the Department for Transport.

Council leader Andrew Proctor said: 'It has been a long-held aspiration in Broadland to improve the public transport offer associated with the Bittern Line.

'The Greater Norwich Joint Core Strategy's focus on the north east of Norwich for future development has renewed interest in sustainable infrastructure for this area.

'As well as providing increased modes of transport for residents, a dedicated rail station at the Broadland Business Park will add to the district's prestige as a location for jobs growth.

'The research done so far for the Bittern Line additional station is at an initial stage and so actual improvements to services could be a number of years away if the research demonstrates they are viable and can be delivered as part of the overall plan for the area.'

An Abellio spokesman said the company was keeping up to date with discussions around the new station.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Network Rail said: 'We have had very early discussions with the council about the possibility of a new station at Broadland Business Park.

'Any new station would need to be agreed with the train operator and the Department for Transport.'

Are you campaigning for a new service near you? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684

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