Funding bid for campaign to reopen Hunstanton line

Hunstanton railway station, before the line was closed in August 1969 Picture: Archant

Hunstanton railway station, before the line was closed in August 1969 Picture: Archant - Credit: IAN BURT

The campaign to reopen the railway line between King’s Lynn and Hunstanton has moved a step forward, councillors heard tonight.

Hunstanton Town Council was holding its first virtual meeting using the Zoom video app.

The start was delayed by around half an hour because of technical issues.

County councillor Andrew Jamieson was co-opted onto the council to fill one of two vacancies.

Delivering his report as a county councillor, Mr Jamieson said the county council was applying for funding from the government’s £500m Restoring Your Railway Fund, to see whether money could be made available towards the cost of restoring the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton line.

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An ideas fund has been set up to help communities develop proposals to reopen lines. More than 5,000 have signed a petition calling for the return of the Hunstanton line, which closed in 1969.

Many believe it would offer day trippers and commuters a greener transport solution and help cut congestion on the A149 coast road.

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But while much of the former track bed remains, parts have been built on including the aproaches to Hunstanton station and the former station site itself.

Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure at Norfolk County Council, said: “We welcome the expression of interest from James Wild MP.

“Our initial feasibility study has shown that reopening the line could have significant benefits for the area and the cost of various options range from £185m to £485m.

“We look forward to being involved in the next stages of this feasibility work.”

Councillors also unanimously agreed to donate £1,030 to Hunstanton Round Table, which has been delivering food and prescriptions to vulnerable people in lockdown in and around the town.

Councillor Wendy Croucher said: “They have played an active part in the town’s survival over the last few weeks.”

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