Huge support for reviving rail line
By Lisa CleverdonCAMPAIGNERS fighting to re-establish one of East Anglia's most historic rail links have moved a step closer to victory.A feasibility study launched to assess the need to renew the 32-mile line between Haverhill and Cambridge has revealed overwhelming support for the scheme.
By Lisa Cleverdon
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to re-establish one of East Anglia's most historic rail links have moved a step closer to victory.
A feasibility study launched to assess the need to renew the 32-mile line between Haverhill and Cambridge has revealed overwhelming support for the scheme.
The report, which will be published in full at a meeting at Haverhill Arts Centre on May 9, showed 73% of people questioned for the study said they would use the railway.
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Business consultants Wilson, Lee and Partners, which carried out the survey, said in the report: “Overall, it is considered that there is a demonstrable need of and for a reinstated rail link between Haverhill and Cambridge.
“Subject to detailed cost estimates to be produced in the engineering survey - which would form the next stage of the feasibility study - there is a strong case in favour of reinstating it as soon as possible.”
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The Cambridge to Sudbury Rail Renewal Association, which commissioned the study, has campaigned for more than six years to see the line renewed.
It decided to initially concentrate on establishing a link between Haverhill and Cambridge as Haverhill is becoming one of the fastest-growing industrial towns in East Anglia.
Once a need for a link is firmly established, the association said it would then campaign to link the route to Sudbury.
Residents in Haverhill said they welcomed the results of the feasibility study and said they were now one step closer to securing the new rail link.
District councillor Gerry Kiernan said: “This is great news for the town and I have not met one resident who has not been in favour of the scheme.
“Not only will this ease the pressure on our roads, it will mean more people will be able to commute easily to Cambridge. Councillors and residents all welcome the proposal and the results of the study are very positive.”
The feasibility study included an investigation of planned economic development in the area, interviews with local government, business people, special interest groups, industry associations and other interested parties, as well as a survey of 498 members of the public along the Haverhill to Cambridge corridor.