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Plans for new £6.5m railway station put on hold due to funding issues

PUBLISHED: 15:25 14 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:17 14 August 2019

In 2016 Broadland District Council began exploring the possibility of creating a new rail stop near Broadland Business Park (pictured) on the Bittern Line. Picture: Mike Page

In 2016 Broadland District Council began exploring the possibility of creating a new rail stop near Broadland Business Park (pictured) on the Bittern Line. Picture: Mike Page

Mike Page

Ambitious proposals to create a new £6.5m railway station on the edge of Norwich have been put on hold due to high costs and a lack of funding.

In 2016 Broadland District Council began exploring the possibility of creating a new "rail stop" 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 said at the time that a study had found a "strong" business case for the work and warranted further research.

While the station would cost £6,591,431 to build, it was anticipated that it would generate more than £15m.

The study further claimed that the new rail stop would be used by about 190,000 passengers annually.

But three years on and Broadland has revealed that the plans are now on hold.

In a statement, a council spokesman said: "The development of a railway station at Broadland Business Park remains an ambition for Broadland District Council.

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"However, during initial research into the feasibility of the project it was decided that the capital and logistical costs would be too high for the council to risk pursuing it in the current climate.

"The council remains in contact with the Department for Transport, Network Rail and the train operator in regard to possible ways to facilitate this project in the future."

The council spokesperson said that the money for the project "is not there", adding: "Until there is support from other areas, we do not have the money to do it."

As well as the £6.5m needed for the station's construction, a further £491,588 would have been required annually to run the additional half-hourly rail service.

In September 2016, Broadland's cabinet agreed to commit, in principle, £25,000 to part-fund more detailed work on the project.

However, this was only subject to other interested parties agreeing to provide funding.

In October that year, a Broadland spokesperson said £100,000 was needed to progress early investigations, of which £90,000 had been "committed" from various sources.

The spokesperson said the council was only at the start of a "long process" and that there would be no "quick results".

Broadland has been asked how much money has been spent on the project so far.

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