Haverhill businesses to debate railway resurrection

Haverhill businesses will debate the viability of restoring a rail link through the town at a monthly networking event.

Haverhill businesses will debate the viability of restoring a rail link through the town at a monthly networking event on Thursday (November 15).

thebestofhaverhill, which sees numerous businesses meet for a talk at the Days Inn hotel once a month, will receive an update from Revd Malcolm Hill and David Edwards, the chairman and vice chairman of the Cambridge to Colchester Rail Project, on their proposals for an engineering feasibility study.

The meeting will be chaired by Paul Donno, vice chairman of Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and director of accountants Jacobs Allen.

MPs, local authorities and business associations have been invited to join the discussion.

Elaine Carr, owner of thebestofhaverhill, said: “A railway for Haverhill is certainly an emotive subject.

“The issue was raised, again, at our meeting last month with Ian Gallin the joint chief executive of St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Forest Heath District Council.

“Of course money is an issue, especially in today’s economic climate, but what if there is a solid business case to justify the investment?

“There are some who are very dismissive of the idea because of the cost and the fact that the original line could not be reinstated in Haverhill so would require a new route.

“At the moment we don’t have all the facts so it would seem inappropriate to make decisions that could affect the long term future of Haverhill based on incomplete information.

“I would like to see the Cambridge to Colchester Rail Project given the financial support to fund the engineering feasibility study – which would provide answers to some of the questions regarding costs and viability.

“There are over 300,000 people living in the Cambridge to Colchester ‘corridor’ and three local authorities involved – viewed in those terms the cost to fund the feasibility study is just pennies per person.

“I hope the business community will support the event to find out more about the project and to express their views on whether they believe a railway would be a positive development for the town and the local economy.”

If you would like to attend this free event call Elaine Carr on 01440 710158 or e-mail Haverhill@thebestof.co.uk by Tuesday (November 13).

The event is open to any local organisations – you do not have to be a member of the bestofhaverhill to attend.

To find about more about thebestofhaverhill visit www.thebestof.co.uk/haverhill.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (November 15) Echo.