Haverhill railway plans gather support

Reverend Malcolm Hill
Reverend Malcolm Hill

More people are being asked to sign a petition in support of reopening the railway line between Haverhill and Cambridge.

The petition has already attracted more than 1,100 online signatures and a further 200 on paper, but the group behind the ambitious proposal, Rail Haverhill and Cambridge to Colchester Rail Renewal Project need many more to sign it before it can present it to the county councils of Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.

Project chairman, Reverend Malcolm Hill, said: “We’ve had about 1,100 replies so far on line and 200 paper ones.

“To make it have some weight with the county councils we really need to get about 4,000 signatures.”

Rail Haverhill has been helped in its cause by Railfuture - Britain’s only independent organisation campaigning for rail passengers and freight - which has financed the printing of 15,000 leaflets.

These were given to Rail Haverhill who had them delivered to every home between Haverhill and Linton and onwards to Sawston.

Haverhill has been without a railway since 1967, yet at that time the town had a population of under 12,000.

It now has a population of some 27,000 and Rail Haverhill believe that with Cambridgeshire County Council’s Local Transport Plan stating that 4,260 new homes are proposed for Haverhill the population is likely to grow to about 38,000 by 2031, giving rise to a greater need for a faster transport link to Cambridge.

A railway for Haverhill has been identified in the Local Transport Plan, with a guided bus option also considered.

For the scheme to progress, a more detailed feasability study is required to develop both the engineering requirement and establish the business case.

To sign the petition go to www.railhaverhill.org.uk/petition.