Heritage railway fears ‘hard decisions’ as coronavirus hits Easter trade

Bure Valley Railway managing director Andrew Barnes. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Bure Valley Railway managing director Andrew Barnes. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A much-loved North Norfolk tourism staple says it will have ‘hard decisions’ to make as the impact of coronavirus lockdown bites.

Bure Valley Railway would normally be keeping bumper Easter crowds of heritage rail fans happy at this time of year.

But the company stopped operating on March 18 and had to furlough all staff.

Managing director Andrew Barnes said its business insurance has been declined, and it now faced having to make some tough calls.

“We have business interruption insurance and made a claim on that. But our insurers have declined that. This makes a mockery of what Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at that time, that business interruption insurance would be triggered,” he said.

“We’ve got support for the claim from our MP, Jerome Mayhew and from North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker, and some of our staff have lobbied their Suffolk MP, Matt Hancock.

“We will survive this but in what shape we do not know. If we don’t get the insurance then we will have to make some hard decisions in the autumn.”