From the 'Suffolk Free Press' of Thursday 28 March 1963


The Beeching Bomb is blow for Sudbury and Haverhill


Councils to lead massive protest

Sudbury, Haverhill and all stations on the Marks Tey to Cambridge line will be closed if the recommendations of Dr Beeching are accepted by the government.

Beeching's bombshell was announced on Wednesday and is certain to cause a storm of protest throughout West Suffolk and North Essex.

The report - a massive document entitled 'The Reshaping of British Railways', says that scores of lines and hundreds of stations must be closed if British Railways are to operate as an efficient and economic transport undertaking.

Under the heading of Passenger Stations and Halts to be closed are listed the following - Sudbury, Haverhill, Long Melford, Clare, Cavendish, Glemsford, Stoke, Bures, Sturmer and all stations on the Stour line.

Braintree and Bocking is also to be closed and the Bartlow - Audley End line to be shut down.

On the Cambridge to Kings Lynn, Cambridge to Ely and Cambridge to Ipswich lines, there are to be modifications, but the extent of these modifications is not revealed. Hopes that the Stour line might continue to be served by bus-trains with the conductor guard collecting all the fares are dashed.


The report says: "These suggestions ignore the high cost of the route itself and that the rail cars are far more expensive than buses".

The report recognises that these wholesale cuts will cause hardship to staff, the travelling public and to industry and says that British Railways will do all that they can to ameliorate those difficulties.

It is anticipated that Haverhill and Sudbury Councils, together with neighbouring local authorities, will take the lead in offering the strongest and widest possible objections to the proposals. Dr Beeching can expect the bitterest opposition from all quarters.