Following George’s long campaign for new thinking on ways to unlock new investment in regional rail to help support sustainable economic recovery in East Anglia, last week saw George’s proposals profiled on ITV Anglia, and receive cross party support in an in-depth studio discussion with Charles Clarke MP, Brandon Lewis MP, and Julian Huppert MP.
The film profiles the fast growing new businesses at the Norwich Research Park and Hethel Engineering Centre, and the development potential around the stations and track in Wymondham, Attleborough and Thetford on the A11 innovation corridor linking Cambridge to Norwich.
George said “I believe fast rail links are essential to unlocking the full potential of Norfolk’s fast growth businesses in a way that is sustainable and doesn’t damage our heritage and beautiful landscape. Wymondham is a perfect example. The town is home to a thriving business community incuding Lotus and an advanced manufacturing ‘cluster’ of ex Lotus and related small businesses, the potential of which is illustrated by the success of the Hethel Engineering Centre and the growing number of fast growth companies based there. Wymondham is also a beautiful market town, with its historic Abbey, market square and cross, and vibrant arts and crafts. Sustainabe transport for visitors in, and commuters out, of the town is absolutely essential to the quality of life of the town, and at the heart of the planning challenge facing the town. New investment in the railway service, tracks, infrastructure, and station are integral to combining growth with heritage and keeping the town’s special identity. Much the same is true of Attleborough down the road. And the Cambridge – Norwich line is integral to the same challenge across East Anglia - planning growth in a way which is sustainable and supports healthy living and strong communities, instead of condemning huge numbers of people to long commutes in gridlocked traffic jams."
George’s call for new thinking on rail investment, including the idea of a single regional rail company controlling both track and trains, with the freedom to unlock development gains and raise private funding for investment is gradually winning support, with this latest cross party endorsement from Charles Clarke (Labour) and Julian Huppert (Liberal Democrat) coming on top of encouragement from the Secretary of State for Transport.
George said “I'm delighted that the importance of the Cambridge to Norwich line, and the need for fresh thinking on regional rail investment and the importance of fast rail to our economic recovery is gaining ground’.
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