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Haverhill: Calls for rail link to Cambridge backed by regional campaigners

PUBLISHED: 18:04 22 April 2014 | UPDATED: 18:04 22 April 2014

A man has been hit by a train at Witham

A man has been hit by a train at Witham

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A new multi-million pound railway line linking west Suffolk to Cambridge has been backed by bosses at an influential regional campaign group.

Railfuture East Anglia has strengthened the calls to reopen the Colchester to Cambridge line after giving their support to a packed public meeting in Haverhill last week.

The line would allow trains to reach Cambridge from Haverhill in 20 minutes, with the campaign to reopen the line being spearheaded by Rail Haverhill and The Cambridge to Colchester Rail Project.

Re-opening the line is one of a number of options being considered by both Cambridgeshire and Suffolk county councils to ease congestion on the A1307, with dualling the road and a better bus service also on the table.

Last week’s meeting saw unanimous backing for re-opening the railway line and none for running a guided busway between them.

Railfuture East Anglia’s Peter Wakefield said: “The new railway will be well positioned to provide a high quality service from the important centres on this corridor. There will be a two-way flow to make the provision of such a high-quality link financially viable.

“It will also have the potential for the line to be linked into a reopened railway beyond Haverhill as a route into Essex/Suffolk - it is just 16 miles further on to the existing railway at Sudbury.

“This would make a direct railway route from Cambridge to Colchester, and would immensely improve the connectivity of Haverhill.”

Mr Wakefield added it was “essential” the line was reconnected as a railway line rather than a guided busway, such as that which runs between Cambridge and Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s local transport plan says the short to medium-term focus will be on providing better bus transport between Cambridge and Haverhill, although its long-term vision is to provide a “high quality public transport corridor” between the two - either bus or rail.

The county council had previously estimated the railway line could cost up to £30million per kilometre to reinstall.

Haverhill has grown to become Suffolk’s fourth-biggest town over the past decade, with its population set to reach 40,000 within 15 years.

3 comments

  • The line should never have been shut in the first place as it was a major link to our main City Ipswich now we are just poorly linked neighbours we can barely get a reliable bus service to Bury St Edmunds let alone any of our nearby suffolk towns like Sudbury let alone our bordered neighbours in Essex, We have no regular bus to colchester nor Chelmsford so immediate reinstatement of the rail link would reopen the links that should never have been severed in the first place !!!!!!! In fact bar to Cambridge Public Transport links to Haverhill are to say the least Pathetic since we lost our rail linkage. We have even lost our regular bus service to London our Capital???????

    Report this comment

    Badger Golding

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

  • Prior to the closure taking place, many objections were lodged by people who claimed that they would suffer hardship if the line closed, although it was proven beyond doubt that little use was actually being made of the existing train service. I would love to see the line re-open but I wonder if there is sufficient demand for a rail service between Haverhill and Cambridge. Visit www.stourline.co.uk if you would like to know more about the closure of the line in March 1967.

    Report this comment

    David Underwood

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

  • Reopening this line also backed by the Green Party as long ago as December 2012,although we know the campaign goes much further back. http:eastern.greenparty.org.uknews.html20121207colchester-to-cambridge-rail

    Report this comment

    John Green

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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