From the 'Suffolk Free Press' of Wednesday 25 March and 4 June 1964



Help to justify proposed closure


Haverhill Urban Council is to write to British Railways complaining about passenger service delays on the Stour Valley line which may be keeping down traffic and helping to justify the proposed closure.

The council has twice written to the B.R. Eastern Region asking for a meeting to discuss matters concerning the proposed closure but another reply was received declining the invitation to a meeting, as it "would be of no mutual help".

Ald. R. C. Poole spoke at the U.D.C. meeting of complaints of two 20-minute delays on certain trains at stations between Haverhill and Colchester. "I fail to see how the railways can expect people to use the line when there are these delays", he said.

Mr L. E. Mayes said there were a lot of unnecessary delays, especially at Sudbury. "Speaking as a councillor and not a railwayman, I think the local traffic line manager is being rather discourteous in refusing to meet us and give us satisfactory answers to genuine complaints".

The council decided to write again to the railways pointing out these delays.

25 March 1964





Extra buses instead

The Minister of Transport has given his consent to British Railways withdrawing passenger services from the branch line between Bartlow and Audley End, which will mean the loss of Haverhill's speediest rail link to London.

A letter from the Ministry says the minister has considered the report of the Transport Users Consultative Committee and all other relevant factors.

He accepts the view that having regard to the bus services at present being provided, the passenger traffic will reasonably be catered for if certain additional bus services are provided.

Not justified

"The Minister has considered the possible implications of the closure for such development as is taking place at the present time and any which may arise from the South-East Study proposals but has reached the conclusion that he would not be justified in requiring the Board to retain the services on this account".

The letter stipulates that closure shall not take place until certain additional bus services have been authorised to start immediately after the closure.

Among suggested bus services listed are journeys between Audley End and Haverhill in each direction from Monday to Saturday to stop at Saffron Walden, Ashdon and Castle Camps.

They are ex Haverhill to Audley End to connect with trains leaving Audley End at: 7.59 a.m., 9.18 a.m., 12.58 p.m., 4.58 p.m. and 6.58 p.m.; ex Audley End to Haverhill to connect at Audley End with trains arriving from Liverpool Street at: 09.30 a.m., 4.58 p.m., 5.26 p.m. and 7.26 p.m.


Mr William Blake, Clerk to Haverhill Urban Council when asked to comment said: "I am sure the council will be very disappointed indeed at the Minister's decision to close this branch line, although it is some consolation that the closure is made conditional upon a bus service being provided between Haverhill and Audley end to connect with certain trains to and from London.

"The decision to close the line will certainly not assist in the carrying out of the Haverhill expansion scheme on which so much of the taxpayers and ratepayers money has been and will be spent".

4 June 1964