From the 'Suffolk Free Press' of Thursday 4 April 1963


Valley freight service safe for up to 20 years


U.D.C. protest

Mr W. A. G. Suddaby, Cambridge Area Traffic Manager for British Railways, has said that Haverhill's proposed future development is certainly not enough to justify keeping its rail link open.

The Urban Council has sent a telegram of protest to Dr Beeching, whose plan proposes the closing of the Stour Valley line to passengers.

A statement by the council says that the scheme to increase the population of the town is "not just a pipe dream". For a town of an expected 18,000 to have no passenger rail link would be "unthinkable".

Another senior railways spokesman has told the Free Press that as a freight service the line is "pretty secure" for ten to twenty years.

Clare comment

Mr John Allpress, Clerk to Clare Rural Council, has commented that withdrawal of the service would bring hardship to many people as alternative bus services were not always convenient.

The Urban Council have received an acknowledgement to the telegram to Dr Beeching. A letter from the British Railways Board at Marylebone Road, London, says that all such proposals will be submitted to the Transport Users Consultative Committee for the area.

Local authorities and others may then make representations to the committee who will report to the Minister of Transport on any hardship which the proposed closure would cause. The final decision will rest with the minister.

Mr W. C. Blake, clerk to the Urban Council said his council was now preparing a case to submit in opposition to the closure of the passenger services on the line.