Waveney MP Peter Aldous welcomes the new hourly service between Ipswich and Lowestoft after work was completed to install a 390 metre length passing loop in Beccles.
Mr Aldous attended the event on Monday to mark train operator Greater Anglia’s introduction of the £4 million scheme, funded jointly by Network Rail and Suffolk County Council, which has brought a previously disused platform at Beccles station back into use. He was joined on the train by Dr Therese Coffey, MP for Suffolk Coastal and Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich.
Track and signalling works have also been carried out as part of a wider £21 million project to re-signal the East Suffolk Line to improve reliability and performance. As well as providing better and more frequent services for local people, the additional trains increase the choices for passengers travelling between London and Beccles and Lowestoft. Prior to these changes, there was only a single track in place between Halesworth and Oulton Broad, which meant that train services between Ipswich and Lowestoft ran every two hours and trains could not pass each other for more than 16 miles.
The new service will encourage a greater use of the railway, improve accessibility to foster inward investment, stimulate local businesses, encourage tourists and make it easier for people to travel and run personal errands in the area.
Mr Aldous welcomes the commitment of both Greater Anglia and Network Rail to work with Suffolk County Council to seek further options for reducing journey times on the East Suffolk line between Ipswich and Lowestoft.
Commenting on the new service, Peter Aldous said:
“This new service is extremely welcome and it will transform travel in the Waveney area. Improved rail access will help attract visitors and investment and will be important in developing a thriving economy in the Waveney area, as well as providing an alternative to driving.”
Councillor Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for roads and transport, said:
“Suffolk County Council is very pleased to have worked with Network Rail to bring about this significant investment in the train service between Lowestoft and Ipswich – Suffolk’s two largest towns.”
Ruud Haket, managing director at Greater Anglia said:
“The introduction of the new hourly service on the East Suffolk line will help in providing a boost in tourism and the local economy, improving the travel opportunities for rail passengers in Suffolk.”
Waveney District Council is conducting a Community Governance Review (CGR) for Lowestoft and the surrounding area and a Final Proposal has been published. Residents can use the Lowestoft CGR online consultation form to give their final comments on the proposal until 31 October 2016.
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