I was there: In search of cut-price travel
In 1987, I was living just a few miles up the A1 from Huntingdon and was a regular user of the town’s station and its car parks, usually the one pictured. I’d moved to work at Huntingdon from London in the spring of 1981. After a couple of years living in Cambridgeshire’s St Ives, I moved to Sawtry, closer to Peterborough.
At the time, my daily driver was a Vauxhall Astra, a company car that had followed a couple of Renault 5s. Unfortunately I do not have any photos of my cars from this period.
When it came to rail travel, living mid-way between Huntingdon and Peterborough, I could use the main line trains from the latter and the outer-suburban services that started and terminated at Huntingdon. Trains from Huntingdon were cheaper than the main line.
Huntingdon was the northernmost point served by Network SouthEast (NSE) trains on the East Coast main line running north of London King’s Cross. NSE was one of the three passenger sectors that was created by British Rail in 1982 and it continued to operate until BR was privatised in 1994. As the name suggests, NSE operated commuter and outersuburban services in London and the SouthEast, but its trains reached Huntingdon and King’s Lynn to the north and also travelled as far west as Exeter in Devon.
There would occasionally be special days when cut-price tickets were offered, allowing you to explore the entire NSE network. On one such day, I travelled from Huntingdon to Exeter and back for just £5!