Hopes grow for new hourly rail service
THE campaign for an hourly train service between Lowestoft and Ipswich is within sight of success.Members of the East Suffolk Travellers' Association (ESTA) were told that an hourly service on the East Suffolk line was now more likely than at any time since the mid-1980s - though it could still be at least two years away.
THE campaign for an hourly train service between Lowestoft and Ipswich is within sight of success.
Members of the East Suffolk Travellers' Association (ESTA) were told that an hourly service on the East Suffolk line was now more likely than at any time since the mid-1980s - though it could still be at least two years away.
"We have the best opportunity in 25 years to obtain an hourly train service between Ipswich and Lowestoft," Jonathan Denby, National Express East Anglia's head of corporate affairs told ESTA's annual general meeting at Woodbridge.
He said the hourly service would depend on installation of a passing loop at Beccles, and that Network Rail planned to install this by December 2012. However, Mr Denby said National Express would press for the work to be done earlier if possible, although third party funding would be necessary to top up the money already promised by Suffolk County Council.
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ESTA Chairman Trevor Garrod confirmed that he would be writing to the four newly-elected MPs whose constituencies were served by the line, to urge them to use their influence to help bring the project to fruition.
In his annual report to Saturday's meeting, Mr Garrod also referred to frustrations over local bus services and said: "Sometimes improvements do not require large sums of money, just a little thought." For example, he said, the extension of service 601 from Yarmouth and Lowestoft to Southwold Pier was very welcome, but there was no publicity for it, or bus stop signs, at the pier.
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He called on Suffolk County Council to rectify this situation in time for the main holiday season.