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Campaigners urge rail chiefs to do something about ‘forgotten’ station in Sudbury

PUBLISHED: 14:35 14 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:35 14 August 2018

Sudbury Town Residents Association, along with local Cllrs Saquib Butt, Thomas Stephens and Mary Daly, are campaigning for more trains to stop at Sudbury & Harrow Road Station. Picture: Polly Hancock

Sudbury Town Residents Association, along with local Cllrs Saquib Butt, Thomas Stephens and Mary Daly, are campaigning for more trains to stop at Sudbury & Harrow Road Station. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A “forgotten” station in Sudbury – with its skeleton train service, narrow platforms and anti-social behaviour rife in its unmanned enclosure – is blighting the lives of a growing community.

Sudbury Town Residents Association, along with local councillors Saquib Butt, Thomas Stephens and Mary Daly, are campaigning for more trains to stop at Sudbury & Harrow Road Station. Picture: Polly HancockSudbury Town Residents Association, along with local councillors Saquib Butt, Thomas Stephens and Mary Daly, are campaigning for more trains to stop at Sudbury & Harrow Road Station. Picture: Polly Hancock

Members of the Sudbury Town Residents’ Association (STRA) gathered at the empty Sudbury and Harrow Road station to highlight the neglect and lack of care shown by Chiltern Railways, which manages the line for Network Rail.

They are calling for the rail giants to “step up to the plate” and recognise their issues.

They also want Brent Council, the mayor of London and Transport for London to back their campaign.

From Monday to Friday, there are only four return services a day between Sudbury and Marylebone: four in the morning and four in the evening.

Sudbury Town Residents Association, are campaigning for more trains to stop at Sudbury & Harrow Road Station.  A timetable from 1962 which shows that there used to be a more frequent train service.Sudbury Town Residents Association, are campaigning for more trains to stop at Sudbury & Harrow Road Station. A timetable from 1962 which shows that there used to be a more frequent train service.

During the day and at weekends the station is a magnet for fly tipping, drug taking and other anti-social behaviour, neighbours say.

Renu Kaul, deputy chair of STRA, said: “We’ve been trying to push Chiltern Railways to improve the station which has very bad signage, really narrow platforms, no disabled access and fly-tipping, which is rife.

“We are the forgotten station.”

The minimum service level for the station was set in the 1990s when the railways were being privatised, and was based on the service level then in operation.

But it’s no longer enough, the group believes.

Ms Kaul said: “Numbers of people have increased 100 percent with all the building going on and numbers are increasing every day.”

Graham Larkbey added: “It’s no use if you work part-time or flexible hours. You can only go up to London in the morning and back in then evening, which is plainly ludicrous for a London suburban station.”

Sudbury’s Cllr Thomas Stephens, (Lab) said: “Sudbury and Harrow Road is one of the worst provided-for stations on Chiltern’s entire rail line and the STRA has campaigned hard to get a better service over many years.

“If Chiltern Rail don’t step up to the plate themselves, we’ll work to ensure that the transport secretary inserts this as a requirement in the next franchise agreement when it comes up for renewal in 2021.

“We’ll also be lobbying TfL and Brent Council to support STRA’s campaign.”

Chiltern had not responded to requests for comment as the Times went to press.

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