Campaigner's plea for support to put brake on plans to relocate Sutton railway station to Peterborough's Railworld Haven

Riverside walk will highlight proposal to move village's historic building

By Paul Grinnell
Monday, 20th June 2022, 12:30 pm

Eco-warrior Robbie Reid is urging Sutton villagers to support a new protest to block plans to move the village's disused Victorian railway station to Peterborough.

Campaigner Mr Reid is calling on the public to support a protest walk to highlight the threat to Sutton's Victorian railway station, near Wansford Road, that could be moved seven miles to Peterborough's visitor attraction, Railworld Wildlife Haven.

The move has been proposed under the National Highways' A47 dualling project that would see the station, which was built in 1869 but was closed under the 1960s' Beeching cuts, saved but moved outside the parish.

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The boarded up Victorian railway station near Wansford Road, in Sutton village, which has been earmarked for relocation to Peterborough under plans to widen the A47 road.

But villagers agree that while the station, which has been boarded up for many years and is not listed by English Heritage, should be moved and restored, it should remain essentially within Sutton village.

The protest will take place on June 21, the Summer Solstice, when the people of Sutton will gather for an evening walk along the Nene Way Footpath on the banks of the River Nene.

Mr Reid said: “We want to highlight the importance of buildings like this which, while they may not be protected like some buildings are in Peterborough, are just as an important part of our local heritage.

“The station may not have trains passing through it anymore, but the building is essentially sound being constructed as it was back in the late-1860s.

The Victorian railway station near Wansford Road, in Sutton village, in its heyday but which has now been earmarked for relocation to Peterborough under plans to widen the A47 road.

“We realise that in order to save it, the planners will have to move it to a more appropriate location, but the one that they have proposed is totally outside the parish of Sutton, and that we simply won’t allow.

“Tomorrow, we are inviting as many people as possible who are interested in railway heritage, local heritage and history, the Nene valley or who just fancy a lovely walk in our stunning countryside on the evening of the Summer Solstice to come along and join us for a gentle stroll.

“The plan is to meet at Sutton St Michaels & All Angels Church at around 6-6:30pm and then to walk along the Nene Way footpath on the banks of the River Nene.

“Ideally, what we want is to raise awareness that if we as citizens do not stand up for buildings like this, then eventually they will all simply vanish under the bulldozers of the developers and planners.

“The people of Sutton want to save their railway station; we want to protect our heritage and our wildlife and the environment.

“To do that, we need to have Sutton station rebuilt and, yes that means moving it, but we want it to remain within Sutton parish.”

Mr Reid was part of the local ‘A47 Action Group’ that protested against English Heritage and Highways England that their proposed route for the A47 widening scheme would ruin local wildlife sanctuaries, destroy ancient forests and trees and even cause traffic dangers.

They brought their fight to the centre of Peterborough in 2018 and 2019, parking their double-decker ‘Battle Bus’ outside the Cathedral.

After many months and many meetings, Highways England agreed to change its proposed route.

Mr Reid got the nickname ‘Swampy 3’ after he threatened to climb the trees on his farm next to the A47 route to prevent them from being cut down.