Port supports King's Lynn to Hunstanton railway vision
- 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.
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.
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.
Grants can subsequently be used to pay for transport and economic studies, helping to form a wider business case.
- 1 People queue at Norwich Primark an hour before 7am reopening
- 2 'We haven't slept': Primark shoppers queue outside city store from 3am
- 3 Woman found dead in country park is named
- 4 Couple sell 'amazing' converted water mill after two-year renovation
- 5 Hospital's walk-in vaccine clinic suspended after poor attendance
- 6 Streets of Norwich packed as lockdown rules ease
- 7 Lanes closed after lorry hits A47 central reservation
- 8 Eight pints pulled in first three minutes as pub's 'happy hour' returns
- 9 Boss says sorry for fake worker's 'vile' comments about Prince Philip
- 10 Landmark seaside hotel serves 100 by midday as lockdown eases
The DfT has already approved 25 other ideas for cash, but has previously said it is impressed with the west Norfolk venture.
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.
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".