Lowestoft to Ipswich train problems to be discussed

A major train operator has acted on concerns over a timetable problem for passengers travelling from London to the Waveney area.

In December, National Express East Anglia introduced what it described as an improved timetable on the East Suffolk line between Lowestoft and Ipswich.

But the new schedule has caused problems for passengers travelling home from London to North Suffolk because they are now struggling to make their connecting trains in Ipswich.

If people miss their connection, they face a wait up to two hours for the next train to stations including as Beccles, Halesworth, Oulton Broad South, and Brampton.

Passengers to Lowestoft who miss their connection have the option of taking the next train to Norwich and changing there.

National Express East Anglia has said it is monitoring the situation and is doing its best to assist passengers who are finding hard to make their connections - usually within six or seven minutes of the London train arriving at Ipswich.

ESTA secretary Rod Lock added: 'People are finding it difficult to reach the other train in six minutes. They are quite frustrated about it.'

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However, National Express East Anglia has come in for further criticism after it said it was unable to send a representative to a public meeting organised by the East Suffolk Traveller's Association(ESTA) to discuss the problems.

ESTA has carried out a survey on the East Suffolk line and it says a large proportion of the 75 people who responded said they had experienced connection problems at Ipswich.

Describing the company's decision not to attend its public meeting on February 19, ESTA's chairman Trevor Garrod said: 'This is very unfortunate but we shall send a full report to National Express East Anglia's management.'

National Express East Anglia introduced its improved Ipswich to Lowestoft timetable on December 12.

The new timetable sees more trains running between Ipswich and Saxmundham and two more peak time trains from Lowestoft to Ipswich.

A company spokesman said: 'We have frequent contact with ESTA and regularly attend their meetings and are grateful for the feedback they provide. We have responded positively to their comments regarding the December timetable changes and have taken action in modifying our connectional policy to enhance the performance of the new timetable.

'Our customer service team is working to assist passengers changing at Ipswich and we are continuing to monitor the performance of the timetable.'

The ESTA public meeting will be held in Saxmundham Market Hall from 2pm on Saturday, February 19.

Also attending will be a representative from Anglian Bus which operates in east Suffolk and Norfolk and has plans to extend services.