A campaign to build a new railway station in Haverhill, reinstating a 30-mile stretch of railway linking the town with Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge, has been launched.
Residents in Haverhill and Linton are shortly to get leaflets urging them to sign an online petition calling for the railway’s reinstatement to cope with Haverhill’s future growth.
Malcolm Hill from the Cambridge-Sudbury Rail Renewal Association says there are fresh calls for a rail link because Haverhill is set to grow dramatically.
He said: “Haverhill Town Council support what we are doing. This would be a great investment for Haverhill and we need it. The population is growing dramatically; there are a further 1,150 new homes in the pipeline.
“Whenever we talk to people in Haverhill, they support a rail link. In particular, they want better transport links with West Suffolk Hospital in Bury. They feel isolated.”
Mr Hill said the line and railway station was closed in Haverhill in the 1960s because the then British Rail could not afford £32,000 a year needed to maintain it.
He said the association had undertaken a feasibility report and, with a few engineering obstacles across the A11, it was possible to reinstate the line at a cost of around £150m.
Tesco was built in the site of the old railway station in Haverhill, but Mr Hill says it could easily be built on a site near Sainsbury’s.
The move comes after Suffolk County Council published its Railways Prospectus last week setting out the county’s rail priorities for 20 years. For Haverhill, it says it has “a commitment within the franchise to provide virtual railways through the provision of rail-bus connections from market towns without a railway station including Haverhill and Mildenhall”.