Who thought of Chesterton Station?

Following last week’s ribald exchange at Cabinet, I asked for the history on this. Here’s what was found:

“In 1987 the County Council commissioned Messrs TPA to undertake a review of rail services in Cambridgeshire with a view to assessing the potential for developing services and the introduction of new stations. The study report in January 1988 concluded that amongst other proposals a parkway station north of Cambridge merited further investigation. At that time British Rail was preparing a formal bid to Government to extend the electrification form Cambridge to Kings Lynn. Eventually, that proposal materialised with a contribution from Kings Lynn and West Norfolk District Council.

The review examined sites for a new station at the Science Park, in the vicinity of Milton and as an extension of Waterbeach station. However, because of the uncertainty over electrification a cheaper alternative “would be to locate the parkway station on BR land immediately north of Chesterton junction”. Further studies of this site were recommended. It was noted that such a station would be readily accessible to traffic on the A604 and A45 (now A14). The Committee instructed officers to explore with British Rail the feasibility of developing and expanding the rail network using the consultant’s report. Reporting back in October 1988.

By November 1989 a public consultation on “Cambridge Transport for the 1990’s” (sic) was underway with a “Possible new BR Station” shown as a proposal on Chesterton Sidings. In a report by an ad hoc select panel, composed of County, City and South Cambs Members in early 1990(?), the only reservations expressed about this proposal came form South Cambs DC who were concerned that the new station should not create London / Stansted commuting opportunities.

The concept of a Chesterton Sidings Station has remained in various plans since then.”

So its pretty solidly a County Council idea that has been promoted by various administrations since. The support of all local MPs has of course been extremely welcome in helping to move things along – lets all share in the joy if we get the hoped-for letter from the Rail Minister soon!

I am pleased Julian Huppert supports our initiative to open the station (we are going to fund it) but it seems a little odd that claims are being made that it was his idea. I know he is bright but as he would have only have been 11 at the time that does strike me as a little young to have driven this idea.

By the way, as Ive been thinking about names a lot today, could we start calling this “Cambridge Science Park” station soon? More meaningful for people not from the local area and shouts out that we are an area that has massive economic potential…..

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