Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Leiston: County councillor hopes branch line will reopen

PUBLISHED: 23:15 30 September 2011

Parry People Mover

Parry People Mover

LIGHTWEIGHT trains could return to a long-lost Suffolk branch line nearly 50 years after it closed to passengers if the county council has its way.

A delegation of councillors, Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey, civic leaders, and even schoolchildren from the Leiston area yesterday visited the West Midlands to see a revolutionary railcar in action.

County councillor with responsibility for transport Guy McGregor wants to look at introducing Parry People Movers on the branch line between Saxmundham and Leiston.

The branch, which used to run to Aldeburgh, closed in 1966 as part of the Beeching Axe. However, it remains in place as far as Sizewell siding, just east of Leiston, to carry nuclear waste from the former Sizewell A power station.

The track is currently used infrequently by freight trains, and there would be considerable obstacles in introducing a regular passenger service.

There are two public level crossings and several farm crossings before reaching the site of the former Leiston station.

The station itself was sold and converted into homes many years ago so a new platform would have to be built – and the Parry People Movers use flywheel technology and would need their own depot on the line, possibly on the Leiston industrial estate, which is next to the track.

Mr McGregor is upbeat about the proposal. “These trains are very efficient, very light, and could do a good job on the line. Ultimately it would be good to get back to Aldeburgh, but we are going to see what they have to offer for now.”

Parry People Movers operate on a short branch from Stourbridge Junction to Stourbridge Town in the West Midlands – and after seeing them in operation the delegation from Suffolk will visit the company’s factory in Staffordshire.

Drivers have reported delays this morning in Bury St Edmunds after roadworks – which are planned to last for 16 weeks – began in the town.

Witham MP Priti Patel faced questions over the prospect of a possible Cabinet return this morning in her first broadcast interview since quitting over her secret meetings with senior Israeli figures last year.

This is the last week that market traders will operate from Ipswich’s Cornhill for at least a year as work to rebuild the town centre is due to start.

Young apprentices in Haverhill have been honoured at an awards ceremony held to celebrate their successes and achievements.

Drivers are being warned they could face delays as roadworks begin at one of Ipswich’s busiest junctions this morning.

The government has still not agreed a deal to end its £50m commitment for the regional fire control “white elephant” in Cambridgeshire – nearly two years after negotiations started.

A police helicopter was involved in a search which continues this morning for a motorist involved in a single-vehicle crash in Suffolk last night.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

London Boat Show 2018

cover

Click here to view
London Boat
Show supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24