New rail link would ‘boost economy’

A campaign to create a rail link between Colchester and Cambridge has received backing from a Bildeston parish councillor.

The Colchester to Cambridge Rail Project unveiled its plans for a rail link connecting Haverhill with the existing Cambridge to Shelford line, with a connection from Haverhill to Sudbury built at a later stage, to Suffolk and Cambridgeshire members of The Green Party in Haverhill recently.

Robert Lindsay, who is campaigning for election as a Babergh district councillor for the Brett Vale ward, which includes Bildeston and Wattisham, and is a Green Party MEP candidate for the Eastern Region, said: “If we are ever to rebuild the regional economy, we need to invest in sustainable transport such as railways, rather than waste billions more on new roads.

“Sudbury’s economy would benefit from the extra link too.”

Mr Lindsay, who lives in High Street, Bildeston, claimed that investment in railways would potentially create more jobs than the expansion of the road system.

“It would lessen our dependency on oil, since not only are trains more fuel efficient but electrified trains consume no oil,” he said.

“It would cut carbon emissions, for the same reason. And freight trains would take many lorries off the roads.”

Linda Whitebread, of Cambridgeshire Green Party, added: “Anything we can do to reduce carbon emissions by getting people out of their cars should be given priority when planning infrastructure.

“People enjoy travelling by train when the service is frequent and efficiently–run and this line can only boost the economic well-being of Haverhill and the other stations en route. The existing road link is congested at peak times and extremely hazardous.”

The Colchester to Cambridge Rail Project campaigners are attempting to raise around £50,000, which would be used for a feasibility study to determine what level of engineering works would be necessary in order to operate the proposed line .