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Opposition to rail station 'move'

PUBLISHED: 09:07 28 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:33 05 July 2010

Councillors are being called on to keep Lowestoft station where it is and to oppose moving it as part of regeneration plans for the town.

The urban regeneration company 1st East has come up with the controversial idea as part of its plans for a third crossing and redevelopment of the station site.

Councillors are being called on to keep Lowestoft station where it is and to oppose moving it as part of regeneration plans for the town.

The urban regeneration company 1st East has come up with the controversial idea as part of its plans for a third crossing and redevelopment of the station site. Last week the idea was also put forward in the Waveney Prospectus, a plan for regeneration which was published by Waveney District Council together with the Waveney Economic Partnership and East of England Development Agency.

Now green councillor Graham Elliott and independent Ruth Ford have put forward a motion to the council's meeting on Thursday asking for the station to be kept where it is and for the council to recognise the importance of rail.

Mr Elliott said: “I am looking for a strong commitment from Waveney to the importance of the location of the station. It is the best located station in Suffolk and possibly in East Anglia. It is ideal for the beach and for the town centre.

“This proposal would push it to the edge of the town centre. They say it is only 400 yards but it is 400 yards further from the beach, 400 yards further from the high street and everywhere that people want to go.”

Philip Watkins, chief executive of 1st East, said the move was part of a scheme to create a third crossing of Lake Lothing, move the A12, and create a new public area with development on parts of the station site which are not used. He said that the station would need to be included to create an area of land large enough to interest a developer.

“No-one is suggesting the railway station should be moved tomorrow. It is only one option, though in reality it is seems a very strong option.

“It might be that the station is 400 further west, but it would still be in the town centre - we would be bringing the town centre towards the station.”

Rod Lock, secretary of the East Suffolk Travellers' Association, said he agreed with Mr Elliott. “Passengers will have to walk 400m further than they do at the moment. There would be uproar if the multi story car park in the centre of Lowestoft was taken down and people were told they had to park 400m further down the road.”

He said he doubted that the proposal would be legal anyway, because a proposal to move a station must be put forward by the Department for Transport, the train operating company or Network Rail, not a developer or urban regeneration company.

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