Ski resort railway backing

A NEW railway station serving the proposed SnOasis indoor ski resort at Great Blakenham would be a success, Network Rail pledged today.After lengthy discussions, Network Rail has confirmed it is satisfied there is a business case behind the new station and has openly backed its construction.

A NEW railway station serving the proposed SnOasis indoor ski resort at Great Blakenham would be a success, Network Rail pledged today.

After lengthy discussions, Network Rail has confirmed it is satisfied there is a business case behind the new station and has openly backed its construction.

A spokeswoman for the authority said: “We have given our support for this scheme now.

“We had to look at the business case and impact on the existing railway. We're satisfied there is a sound business case behind this. We do think it is a viable option.”

Onslow Suffolk has applied to build the station, which it estimates would cost £13million, on land owned between the Gipping Road level crossing and the Chapel Lane bridge.

The application for the station will be considered by Mid Suffolk District Council's planning referral committee on April 20, along with applications for the ski resort and associated leisure facilities, and an adjoining housing development with 432 homes.

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A shuttle bus service would take passengers to and from the station and the ski resort.

Onslow Suffolk agreed to include the station in its plans in a bid to allay fears about a massive increase in car journeys caused by the construction of SnOasis, which would become the world's biggest indoor ski resort attracting about 820,000 people each year.

The developers would meet the costs of the station's construction but Network Rail would retain ownership of the railway lines, surrounding infrastructure and signalling.

The authority's spokeswoman said: “If this does all go ahead we would carry out a feasibility study, we would help implement anything that does need to be done. It has to be very carefully planned.”

Rail operator 'one' has fully backed the prospect of a new station, saying it could encourage thousands of extra passengers onto the rail network.

Peter Meades, 'one' spokesman, said: “Our position is one of support.

“It's obviously a huge opportunity because of the projected numbers of people coming to the development from outside the area.”

Weblinks: www.networkrail.co.uk; www.onerailway.com; www.snoasis.co.uk

The Great Blakenham railway station would ferry passengers along the London to Norwich line with journey times between Great Blakenham and London between 70 and 75 minutes.

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