27 April 2023
Wymondham Station Access – Update

I was very concerned to hear reports yesterday of an FOI request made to Network Rail which suggested that the sidings beside Platform 2 of Wymondham Station had been signed out of use back in 2020 due to them requiring “a large amount of work (beyond maintenance) to get [them] back in order.”

For those of us who have been working on and following the Wymondham Station Access issue closely, these reports came as a considerable shock – raising some very serious questions.

Previously, Network Rail agreed to shorten the length of their sidings beside Platform 2 in order to make the necessary room for a step-free access solution. Together with Greater Anglia, they developed initial plans and drawings for delivering a step-free access solution ‘preferred option’ – with South Norfolk Council, vocally supported by myself and many others, successfully securing £600,000 to go towards the works as part of the Greater Norwich Transforming Cities Fund bid.

Unfortunately however, Network Rail subsequently had to reject that ‘preferred option’ – informing the Taskforce that they now needed to retain slightly more of the sidings than had originally been thought. This change made the ‘preferred option’ untenable and therefore alternative options are having to be explored.

Concerned by the reports that the sidings may have in fact been signed out of use (contrary to the information Network Rail had previously provided), I directly contacted the Senior Public Affairs Manager for the Anglia Route at Network Rail who has today reassured me that this is not the case.

Network Rail have confirmed that there were sidings beside Platform 1 which have been signed out of use, but that the sidings beside Platform 2 remain in use. They have reiterated that they remain committed to working with local stakeholders on the campaign working to deliver step-free access to Platform 2, recognising the importance of the campaign to so many in the local community.

While still happy to shorten their sidings beside Platform 2, Network Rail must retain enough of the sidings so that they can be used by their engineering trains. Unfortunately, this means that the previously agreed ‘preferred option’ remains unfeasible – but I continue to work closely with key stakeholders to explore alternative options and remain committed to doing all I can to help get this campaign over the line.

Full details of the campaign, including the progress made in recent months, can be found on my campaign page here.