From the 'Suffolk Free Press' of Thursday 22 October 1964

Meeting now on Dec 22


After initial news that today's meeting between railway management and staff on the Stour Valley line had been "postponed indefinitely", it was announced shortly before going to press that it would after all be held on December 22.

Hopes had been raised by the earlier news but the Divisional Commercial Manager of British Railways said this week that there was no "change in policy".

Today's meeting, he said, had been postponed because it had been impossible to get all the staff representatives together at the time originally planned.

But Sudbury solicitor Mr Alan Phillips, a member of the Sudbury Railway Action Committee, said the whole question of the closure of the Stour Valley passenger services was "in the melting pot".


He commented: "The new Minister of Transport is bound to say 'hold your horses'. The government have pledged there will be no closures before they complete a survey of the country's transport system as a whole".

The 46-mile Stour Valley line has been a marginal one in British Railways economics and now that Labour is in power one can be more optimistic about its future. Its retention, however, cannot be regarded as guaranteed.

Commented Mr Phillips: "It may not be without significance that the closing of the line would directly and immediately affect the constituents of no less than five parliamentary divisions, all of which are represented by Tory members. They were and still are, highly marginal seats.


"You will remember that as acting chairman of the action committee, I wrote in July 1963 to all five M.P.s and then received replies which were, with one exception (the late Sir William Aitken) hardly satisfactory from my committee's stand-point.

"With another General Election likely in the next two years, I would say the proposal may be shelved indefinitely, and this is all to the good".

Sudbury Borough Council have agreed to hold a special meeting as soon as official news concerning any proposed closure is received by the Town Clerk.