Bid to improve mainline train travel gets boost

PUBLISHED: 08:33 25 July 2014 | UPDATED: 08:33 25 July 2014

Mark pendlington, Ben Gummer MP, and Chloe Smith MP, with former transport minister Stephen Hammond on Ipswich Station

Mark pendlington, Ben Gummer MP, and Chloe Smith MP, with former transport minister Stephen Hammond on Ipswich Station

The campaign to see major improvements on the main line between East Anglia and London is taking a major step forward today with a bid for widespread public support.

The Great Eastern Rail Campaign is being launched by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to build on the work of a taskforce made up from the region’s MPs and business leaders.

The LEP is hoping to attract public support for the campaign as the Department for Transport starts to look at requirements for the next rail franchise over the next few months.

Key aims of the campaign are to see a significant investment in track infrastructure, get better trains with more seats and carriages, and a higher-quality travelling experience.

The overall goal is to achieve London to Chelmsford in 25 minutes, Colchester in 40, Ipswich in 60 and Norwich in 90.

The taskforce is due to report to Government in November, making the strong economic case for investment in the line. Now it hopes the Great Eastern Rail Campaign will encourage commuters, businesses and all rail users to get behind the cause and sign up via the new website and follow the campaign on Twitter using hashtag #gerailcampaign.

The campaign is already “backed by business” with the Chambers of Commerce from Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk, leading businesses such as Willis Group, Aviva and John Lewis already signed up, as well as local authorities.

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP, said: “Today is a rallying call for all those who want a better rail service.

“For too long East Anglia has suffered from under investment in our rail network. Let’s make our voice heard loud and clear and get the rail service the three counties need and deserve.”

Toby Coke, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Environment, Development & Transport Committee, said: “Investment in the London to Norwich mainline can deliver big economic benefits along the whole route, and at a fraction of the cost of HS2.

“We must not let the Great Eastern Mail Line be the Cinderella rail service once again while billions is invested elsewhere.”

Jamie Burles, managing director for Abellio Greater Anglia said: “We are passionate about securing and delivering major upgrades for the Great Eastern Main Line.”

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  • I think I'd prefer my train to rather be driven by Casey Jones than any of those 4 in the photograph.I'm not sure I'd trust them to punch my ticket either.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Sunday, July 27, 2014

  • Norwich-London *IS* the be all and end all, it's the important link. Yarmouth and Lowestoft aren't important and the service they receive is sufficient. Deal with it V

    Report this comment


    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • I think a task force that concentrated on helping the real vulnerable people of Norfolk would be more useful than a taskforce to help people get to work in London quicker.

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    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • How about improving the feeder lines into Norwich ?. Norwich to London isnt the 'b' all and end all, there are other lines as well.

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    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Quite right Albert. Ever since I came to Norfolk getting back to London by train has been a joke. And every so often some group of comedians pitch up and say they are going to sort it out. Well, the last time I went to London we were delayed for three hours which is by no means a record. The worst was when I could have got to Boston in the time it took. That is Boston in Massachussetts not Lincolnshire. And I am going to London tomorrow, so get a move on ye people of big promises and no action and sort it out. You've got 24 hours.

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    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • As Albert says its all campaign this, taskforce that, isnt Chloe Smith AMAZING!!1111!!! but all we're getting is a farce and paid people patting themselves on the back.

    Report this comment


    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Yet another campaign ! its been going on for decades,but standards have slipped to the extent that passengers cannot rely on a train arriving on time anymore!

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Friday, July 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site


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