Port supports King's Lynn to Hunstanton railway vision

Commuters using Greater Anglia's new bi-mode trains could see prices rise 2.8% in January 2020. Phot

A campaign could ultimately see rail travel reintroduced between King's Lynn and Hunstanton - Credit: Archant

The Port of King's Lynn has given its backing to plans aimed at reviving rail travel between two west Norfolk towns. 

Manager Kim Kennedy said the port's role in the local economy would be greatly improved if it could run freight trains over a section of the proposed line from King's Lynn to Hunstanton. 

The Associated British Port in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The Port of King's Lynn has voiced its support for proposals to reinstate rail travel from Lynn to Hunstanton

Plans have already been labelled by campaigners as the “biggest game changer in a generation” for the county.

Alongside the King’s Lynn-Hunstanton Railway Campaign (KLHRC), supporters have included North West Norfolk MP James Wild and county councillor Andrew Jamieson. 

And now Associated British Ports' Norfolk facility has thrown its weight behind the proposal, suggesting that the mothballed docks branch can be easily connected to the prospective 15-mile railway.

An archive image of the former Hunstanton Railway Station. Norfolk County Council hopes to turn the

Archive image of the former Hunstanton railway station, which closed in 1969 - Credit: Ian Burt

In documents submitted to the Department for Transport (DfT), Ms Kennedy said: “We would welcome a feasibility study into the reopening of the railway.

"It would improve connectivity, benefit our operations at the Port, and allow us to continue to keep Britain trading.”

You may also want to watch:

The ambitious scheme is now on the table of transport minister, Chris Heaton-Harris, and being considered for a £50,000 start-up grant from the government’s Restoring Your Railway fund.

A First Capital Connect train arrives at King's Lynn station. Picture: Ian Burt.

The public has been urged to support a campaign which could ultimately see rail travel reintroduced between King's Lynn (pictured) and Hunstanton - Credit: IAN BURT

Grants can subsequently be used to pay for transport and economic studies, helping to form a wider business case. 

Most Read

The DfT has already approved 25 other ideas for cash, but has previously said it is impressed with the west Norfolk venture. 

Last month, members of the public were urged to support a KHLRC petition, which has amassed more than 7,500 signatures

Mr Wild has said a new railway would "level up" the economy by reducing the exodus of young people looking to access job opportunities in Cambridge and London. 

North West Norfolk Conservatives have chosen James Wild as candidate. Picture: Ally McGilvray

James Wild, MP for North West Norfolk, is a supporter of the proposal - Credit: Archant

He added: "It would stimulate the tourism and hospitality sector, which accounts for a fifth of all local income, and reduce the worryingly high carbon emissions from the severely congested A149."

While King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council is yet to declare its hand, the project has also been championed by the New Anglia LEP and Norfolk Coast Partnership. 

Rosanne Winjberg, chief operating officer of the LEP, said rail travel was key to creating a "multimodal, low-carbon transport network".

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus