Neil Bracegirdle’s report in last week’s Free Press highlights important issues for the future of Sudbury.
While the retention of free parking in Sudbury and Hadleigh is vital for the future viability of the two town centres, it is also important that public transport, which includes the railway line to Marks Tey, is maintained and improved.
Although fares rise relentlessly, there has been little investment in the railway line and the present service with one train per hour is quite poor.
If the town council wants to see more revenue generated by rail users, it needs to look beyond a narrow pricing policy, and consider ways of increasing rail use by providing a more frequent service.
It is quite possible, for example, to increase the service to two trains per hour by providing a passing point on the existing double track at Chappell and Wakes Colne which could be achieved at fairly modest cost.
The trains would link to the present half-hourly service from Marks Tey to London. Possibly, alternate trains could run directly to Colchester, which would avoid the need to negotiate the high footbridge at Marks Tey.
This increase in frequency would certainly encourage me to use the trains more often, and I believe it would lead to a significant increase in the number of rail passengers, greater use of the half empty station car park and increased revenue without the need to increase parking charges.