The next stop will be ... Campsea Ashe?

LADIES and gentleman your next stop will be Wickham Market, please alight here for Wickham Market.

Craig Robinson

LADIES and gentleman your next stop will be Wickham Market, please alight here for Wickham Market.

For 150 years the Suffolk village has been a permanent fixture on the east Suffolk railway line between Lowestoft and London.

And anyone visiting for the first time would think from the name of “Wickham Market” station that they had arrived at their destination.

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But when the train stops at the platform it is actually pulling up two and a half miles away in Campsea Ashe.

Residents of the smaller village are now asking rail bosses to change the name of the station to prevent any further confusion - 150 years since the east line was first opened.

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Pauline Strevens, parish clerk, said: “Every week passengers alight at Campsea Ashe believing they are at, or very near, Wickham Market. However, Wickham Market is two and a half miles away - along the narrow, winding B1078 road.

“There is no footpath beyond the village shop and the banks of the B1078 are too steep to enable one to walk on them. There is no street lighting at all in Campsea Ashe, so in winter it can be a very dangerous walk.

”There is no bus through the village and the taxi has to be called from Woodbridge or Framlingham. The pub and the village shop deal with at least one inquiry a week such as 'where is the centre of Wickham Market' or 'where can I get a bus to Wickham Market'.

“Many residents have stories of giving a lift to some lonesome traveller needing to get to Wickham Market. The Parish Council has for some years tried to get the station name changed.

“We did get 'Campsea Ashe' in small print and 'for Wickham Market' in large letters put on the running board on the platform, but people still arrive believing they are in or very near Wickham Market.”

Villagers are now hoping that transport bosses will listen to their concerns and get the name of the station changed to avoid any further confusion.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “It's up to local people. If the community comes to us with a compelling case we will discuss it with the train operating company.

“If we are both happy then we can move forward. However, it would also have to be officially authorised by both the Department for Transport and the Office of Rail Regulation.”

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