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Matthew Hancock
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Support and snub for rail renewal enthusiasts

Friday, 18th February 2011.

Enthusiasts for reviving Haverhill's railway had good and bad news at their meeting last night.

The good news was that Colchester MP Bob Russell had replied to a letter from them to say he fully supported the railway idea and had already raised it several times.

He wanted to meet the Sudbury to Cambridge Rail Renewal Association, and chairman Malcolm Hill and secretary David Edwards had arranged to meet him on Monday.

This follows the strong support they received from Haverhill's MP Matthew Hancock at their last meeting in November.

In stark contrast they received a snub from local business group Haverhill Enterprise from whom they had sought support.

The group's chairman Richard Herbert told them it was the view of Haverhill Enterprise that the cost of rebuilding the line would be excessive and unaffordable by any Government.

The group's strategy was to wait for the guided busway experiment in Cambridge and see if was successful enough to be extended to Haverhill.

Members of the rail renewal association are extremely sceptical of, and even amused by, the guided bus project, which they consider is massively expensive and will never work.

Mr Edwards told their last meeting there was no working guided bus system in the world. One which had been built in Adelaide had lasted six months and proved so disastrous those behind it had flown over to Cambridge specially to urge the city not to consider it.

But they did agree they should watch its progress and, if it was by any chance successful, support it, although they preferred the parallel idea of a light railway link.

Meanwhile they agreed to continue fact-finding towards building a case for rail renewal.

Haverhill Online News

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