Cambridgeshire railway stations' reopening proposed

Site of disused railway station at Fulbourn
Image caption Platforms at the former Fulbourn station, closed after the Beeching Report, can still be seen

Stations closed after the 1963 Beeching Report into the state of the nation's railways could be reopened under plans being considered in Cambridgeshire.

The county council's long-term strategy to improve transport includes details of both Fulbourn and Cherry Hinton.

A spokesman said re-opening one, and reinstating disused tracks were options being considered in its draft plans.

Improving infrastructure was "critical" to cope with planned housing developments in the county, he added.

The number of new homes needed in Cambridgeshire by 2036 is estimated to be about 95,000.

Population growth

Graham Hughes, director of strategy and development at the council said "a whole range of things" - including rail links - were being proposed to cope with congestion on the county's roads.

"Rail is very important, but it's not everything," he said.

"However, we're saying with the right conditions these things could come forward in the future."

He said reinstating the stations at Fulbourn and Cherry Hinton was first suggested 15 years ago but was "not viable at the time".

"Population in those areas is growing, as is the need for people to get around. It is likely to be one or the other - not both," Mr Hughes said.

In 1996 proposals to reinstate the station at Cherry Hinton received a 70% "no" vote from residents who responded to a council questionnaire.

Mr Hughes stressed the latest suggestions were "long-term proposals up to 2050" and said local communities would be consulted before decisions were taken.

He said reopening the railway line between March and Wisbech in the north was also being considered.

More than 3,000 people have signed a petition calling for the route, which was closed in 1968, to be reinstated.

Other measures to address transport concerns include the already-proposed A14 upgrade and new railway station for Cambridge Science Park, a new station for Addenbrooke's Hospital, extending the guided busway, and improving the network of cycle routes around the county.

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