From the 'Suffolk Free Press' of Thursday 6 October 1966 and the 'East Anglian Daily Times' of 21 December 1966


Stour closure date December 31:

Speculation on use of land

Within a matter of a few weeks a large area of land, ripe for development near Sudbury town centre will have outlived its present use. British Rail's freight yards are expected to be on the market soon.

Even before the major length of the Stour Valley line closes on the scheduled date of December 31, rail freight services in Sudbury will have come to an end.

These services will be totally withdrawn before the end of this month and the yards will become redundant. Coal will be despatched by road from the new concentration centre near Colchester.

A spokesman for British Rail at Norwich last week said the property would be taken over by the divisional estate surveyor's department and sold.

Passenger services between Sudbury and Cambridge will be withdrawn on December 31, providing the railway authorities have been able to confirm the alternative bus arrangements.


Sudbury, which retains its link with London via Marks Tey, will become an unstaffed halt, in line with British Rail's usual policy in these circumstances.

Existing facilities (toilets etc.) will be retained as long as no money has to be spent on them, said the railway spokesman. Shelter for passengers would remain, but as time went on, various of the buildings would be handed over to the estate surveyor for disposal.

At some time in the future, the spokesman added, engineers would pull up the track between Cambridge and Sudbury and the various items of railway property along the track would be sold.

A new timetable has been prepared for the Sudbury spur and was due to have been finalised this week. It will not be 'too different' as far as times are concerned, a reporter was told.


The decision to keep the Stour Valley line open from Sudbury to Marks Tey was the right one, said local M.P. Mr Keith Stainton at Lavenham on Saturday.

Mr Stainton added that in view of the passenger figures for the rest of the line from Sudbury to Shelford, closure was the right course of action for the Minister to have taken.

"We must watch that the standard of service is not scaled down by British Rail", added the M.P. Rail users must guard against the withdrawal of facilities at their stations, he said, in some of the stations affected by East Suffolk line remaining open, even toilet facilities had been closed.


If the railway land is disposed of, British Rail will sell it to its best advantage, and, continued Mr Stainton, we must be sure that this coincides with the best community advantage.

Sudbury General Purposes Committee on Friday decided to write a letter of goodwill and sympathy to Haverhill for their loss of passenger services on the Stour Valley line.

Ald. Harry Talbot said: "Cambridge is the only place where many people can go to hospital and the closure of the line from Cambridge to Sudbury will greatly inconvenience people".

6 October 1966



New station at Sudbury if Valley line closes?

If the Sudbury to Cambridge section of the Stour Valley railway line closes in March, a new station may be built at Sudbury. The station - in the form of a halt - will be within about 50 yards of the shopping centre.

This will only come about if the latest scheme to try and save the line towards Cambridge by local authorities providing a £26,000 subsidy for a new service fails.

If the subsidy bid fails the line will close on March 6, if the Minister of Transport is satisfied that enough alternative bus services have been provided between Sudbury and Cambridge.

Sudbury will then be left at the end of a 10 mile link with Marks Tey on the Colchester-London line. The present Sudbury station is already an unmanned halt and the proposed new station would be built in the old goods yard at the town end of Great Eastern Road.

Mr D. H. Ward, Freight and Passenger Sales Officer, Norwich, said he understood the original Sudbury station was in Great Eastern road, although he had no official records which confirmed this. He added that nothing definite had been settled about the proposed new station and he could not say when it would be built.

If the station were moved, a very large area of railway land would become vacant, including the tree lined approach to the current station. Only a small amount of land would be needed to operate the new halt, leaving a large amount of land for disposal.

21 December 1966