A12 rail campaigners face opponents

Train enthusiasts in north Suffolk who are keen to establish a new rail link between the A12 and Southwold will come face-to-face with opponents of the scheme at a public meeting next week.

Train enthusiasts in north Suffolk who are keen to establish a new rail link between the A12 and Southwold will come face-to-face with opponents of the scheme at a public meeting next week.

Southwold Railway Trust has long held ambitions to recreate the historic narrow gauge railway that ran between Halesworth and Southwold from 1859 to 1929.

The original route saw the track run along the Blyth Valley and in to Southwold across the River Blyth from Walberswick, but the latest ideas see a new route being proposed.

As the first phase of the project, the trust members have submitted a planning application to Waveney District Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council that would see a park and ride facility at Henham Park beside the A12 and the track running under the trunk road and through the outskirts of Wangford and Reydon before terminating at Southwold Station at Easton Bavents close to the pier car park.

The scheme has come under fire from landowners and local residents and a public meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday at Reydon Primary School.

Charlotte Du Cann has organised a Save Our Lanes campaign, and believes the “natural harmony” of the area will be shattered if the project goes ahead.

Most Read

“A whole peaceful network of back lanes in Reydon is under threat by developers,” she said.

John Bennett, railway society board member, said: “This is a narrow gauge railway which has minimal effect on the landscape, farmland and the lanes in Reydon.”

The plans have been backed by Henham estate's Hektor Rous but are being opposed by members of Southwold Town Council.

Reydon Parish Council will meet later to discuss the issue.

At Tuesday's meeting, Mr Bennett and David Negus, from the Southwold Railway Trust, will be present, as will a representative from Waveney District Council's planning department.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter