Rail – Wymondham to Dereham line

3rd July 2020

Improving connectivity in our part of the world was one of my first pledges when I began campaigning to be the MP for Mid Norfolk back in 2007.

We know only too well that there has been a historic lack of investment in Norfolk and the East and, while the dualling of the A11, increasing broadband speeds and the first round of committed works for A47 improvements have all been positive steps forward, there is clearly much more that still needs to be done.

That’s why, on top of my work to improve rail services to date, I am proud to be sponsoring a bid looking at the potential full reopening of the Wymondham to Dereham line (and hopefully one day even further to Fakenham, and beyond!) – to allow for the return of a regular commuter service in addition to the outstanding and much loved heritage role that the Mid Norfolk Railway plays on this line.

The bid, which is being promoted by New Anglia LEP, was submitted to the Department for Transport’s Restoring Your Railway Ideas fund and has now been given the greenlight to proceed to the next stage – the assessment process. This will entail feasbility work to ascertain what the passenger demand for the line would be, what the infrastructure required to upgrade the line for full reopening would be and the costs of any works.

Although this is still early days, this is a positive step forward.

Dereham is the fifth largest settlement in Norfolk and the largest not connected to the national rail network. By connecting the town to the national rail network, we will be able to open up the heart of Norfolk, bring it closer to the jobs and opportunities of further afield (including Norwich and Cambridge) and set a benchmark for the further reopening of Beeching lines across our county.

I am also delighted to see a similar project for the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton line has been submitted to the Restoring Your Railway Ideas fund too.