Potential boost to Brandon from new Cambridge train station

A new �20m train station to the north of Cambridge could bring benefits to commuters living in and around Brandon, according to officials.

They believe the proposal to build three platforms at Chesterton, within walking distance of the Cambridge Science Park, could provide new job opportunities in Norfolk and Suffolk.

The new station could be built on the Norwich to Cambridge line, providing new access to an area of high-skilled jobs for people to live in the rural Brecks.

Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning, Guy McGregor, said: “From Suffolk’s point of view it is about the impact this will have upon the economy and the ability to get to high skilled employment as a consequence of this investment.

“At that railway station there will be a connection to the guided bus way and will give much quicker access to Cambridge business park which is very high value.

“The dynamics and where we can live will then change because there will be easier access to Brandon and the Brecks.”

The proposal was officialy approved by the government last month, and work is due to begin in 2014.

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Forest heath district councillor for Brandon East, Bill Bishop, said the proposal was “great”, and added: “We’ve got the facilities now in Brandon and the station is getting better and better as they’re improving the building. “I think it will certainly let people get out of the town to find different employment and it will bring a lot of people to Brandon. “We’re trying to make Brandon station the gateway to the Brecks which means you arrive and get everything you need. There’s nothing better than coming to Norfolk and knowing you can get to work in the morning.”

Friends of Brandon Train Station (FOBS) have been campaigning for years to renovate the old station master’s house at Brandon and transform the rest of the station into a place the town could be proud of.

Since 2006 it has tidied the station and the open area opposite the Cambridge platform which was once the site of sidings, and a goods shed has long been a target for improvement.

Mr McGregor added: “It’s significant for Brandon in my point of view because it’s a town which needs a lot of tlc.

“It’s suffered in the past from a lack of money but this could make a real difference. I think in many respects it could transform the economic vitality of Brandon.

“Housing is fairly cheap and the countryside is fabulous and you’ve got a town that’s got facilities and a health centre and now a free school.”

Meanwhile, a meeting is scheduled between Mr McGregor and roads minister Mike Penning on Monday to discuss the possibility of a relief road in Brandon, which could cut congestion in the town.