The very strong, irrefutable, business case for big investment and improvements in rail services across Suffolk was put by speaker after speaker at the Suffolk Rail Conference on Friday
The new rail minister, Claire Perry, heard all about the need to improve rail services in the county at the seminar which focussed on the forthcoming long-term rail franchise.
In addition to demands for improved rail infrastructure, faster line speeds, better rolling stock and more frequent services on the Great Eastern Main Line into London Liverpool Street, the key rail priorities for Suffolk highlighted at the event include:
An hourly Ipswich to Peterborough passenger service
A half-hourly Ipswich to Cambridge passenger service
A half-hourly Ipswich to Lowestoft passenger service
Improvements to the Felixstowe branch line to allow more punctual and reliable passenger services
Hourly Sunday passenger services
Faster line speeds on local lines
Rail minister Claire Perry MP, told us
“We have big ambitions for the rail network in East Anglia. The report from the Great Eastern Rail Taskforce will be invaluable as we consider how we can build on the improvements already underway in the region. As part of our long-term economic plan, more than £38bn will be invested over the next five years in building a world-class rail network across the UK. Passengers in East Anglia are already benefiting from improvements, including more services and improved trains on the Greater Anglia franchise, while next year, work on the Great Eastern Main Line will provide more reliable journeys.”
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP and co-chair of the Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce, said
“From faster broadband and better mobile signals, to better roads and rail services. Let our collective and persuasive voice for investment and improvements continue to be heard loud and clear in government.”
If I have one Christmas wish, it is that we make progress on improving these key areas of our infrastructure: rail, roads, broadband and mobile reception … and FAST!
(… and yes my train got me there on time and, although she was on a later train, the minister also used the Cambridge-Ipswich service with no problems.)