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Could it be all change for rail stations on routes heading east of Ipswich?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 March 2019

Bealings station still exists - even though it closed to passengers in 1956. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Bealings station still exists - even though it closed to passengers in 1956. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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New housing developments across the north and east of Ipswich have provoked a flurry of concern about traffic on the roads into the town - but could they lead to more investment in the area's rail services?

Leicester City came to Bealings in the mid 1950s! B17 class loco named after the football club passed through the station shortly before it closed to passengers. Picture: DAVE KINDRED collection.Leicester City came to Bealings in the mid 1950s! B17 class loco named after the football club passed through the station shortly before it closed to passengers. Picture: DAVE KINDRED collection.

The idea of a building 15,000 new homes across the north of the town to get finance for a northern relief road has led some to suggest this could lead to the reopening of Bealings railway station on the East Suffolk Line which closed to passengers in 1956.

The line still passes through the site of the station – and its buildings are now in use as a business centre.

But it might be possible to rebuild the platforms – or build new platforms on the opposite side of the level crossing.

The station is a comparatively short distance from Kesgrave and Martlesham Heath, and if thousands of new homes are also built to the north of the line it could be viable to consider reopening it.

Westerfield station. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSWesterfield station. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

However a spokesman for Greater Anglia said this was not under consideration at present. He said he believed it had been discussed briefly many years ago when plans for the new homes at Martlesham Heath and Grange Farm were under consideration – but was never seriously considered.

If there was a major new development proposed for the area it could be reconsidered – but the cost of a new station could be very high. He also pointed out that the rail company was looking to speed up journeys on the East Suffolk line, and putting in an extra station would inevitably slow trains down.

Elsewhere there has been talk of “moving” Westerfield station a few hundred metres to put it in the middle of the Ipswich Garden Suburb – but the costs of that seem likely to rule out such a plan.

However it is likely that plans for the garden suburb will be required to include footpaths and cycle routes to the station to encourage new residents to use it.

And there have been suggestions of “moving” Derby Road station on the Felixstowe branch to serve Warren Heath and be a parkway station for traffic from the A14/A12 near the Seven Hills junction.

That has never progressed past the stage of being a suggestion from planners – but could re-emerge once the new Adastral development is completed over the next few years.

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