Proposed £500m north Norfolk light railway: Where would it stop?
PUBLISHED: 11:47 31 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:49 31 March 2020
A proposed £500 million light rail line running from Peterborough to Great Yarmouth would take in stops including King’s Lynn, Wells, Sheringham, Holt, North Walsham and Caister on the way to Great Yarmouth, according to the man who has put forward the vision.
Terry Wilding, 68, has spent three years working on plans for a new cross-county rail route to link the city of Peterborough with popular holiday spots and resort towns on the Norfolk coast.
Mr Wilding, of Potter Heigham, said the light rail plan would revolutionise public transport in this part of the country, benefit the environment and would boost tourism, all at only a fraction of the cost of HS2.
Mr Wilding said: “The route is under debate but I’ve picked one that would cover as many places as possible.
“I would want to make it as attractive as possible to the politicians but also give people access.
“Light rail is more flexible than heavy rail - where you have to go in more or less a straight line. With light rail you can take in turns, if it’s convenient.
“This means it would not only be able to take in villages, but there’s a number of schools along the line that would help a lot of people.”
Other spots the route would cover include Cromer, Worstead, Stalham, Sutton, Catfield, Martham, Hemsby and Ormesby.
Mr Wilding said the route - which he has calculated would be 154 miles long and cost around £3m per mile - would cater for trains carrying 200 passengers, as well as bicycles.
He said that although the cost seemed high, it was dwarfed by the estimated price of HS2, the high-speed rail link connecting London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. The latest estimate of the price of that project is £106bn.
Mr Wilding said he had also drawn up an alternative route which would take in Downham Market, Swaffham and Wroxham before heading onto Yaromouth.
He said: “The first of course would cater for the holiday makers, the second would cater more for the local people.”
After Mr Wilding made a presentation about the plans at a North Norfolk Labour Party meeting in March, it attracted widespread interest, including from Mid Norfolk MP and a former government transport minister George Freeman.
Mr Freeman said: “Interesting idea. There’s a massive opportunity for fast, transformational, private sector financed connectivity across places like East Anglia. Government doesn’t have to fund it. It just has to enable it.”
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