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Improvements on rail to go ahead

PUBLISHED: 12:30 17 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:22 06 July 2010

RAIL improvements planned for travellers across the east coast over the next four years are unlikely to fall victim to government spending cuts, it has emerged.

RAIL improvements planned for travellers across the east coast over the next four years are unlikely to fall victim to government spending cuts, it has emerged.

Network Rail is due to install a passing loop at Beccles by 2012 - allowing an hourly service on the East Suffolk line from Ipswich to Lowestoft.

A spokesman for Network Rail said the money for this project, among others, had already been handed over.

He said: “This cash is in our pockets. These schemes are not at risk from any government spending reviews - work is continuing to implement them.”

But the news about services in this region was welcomed in rail circles with rail operator National Express East Anglia (NXEA), already making plans to increase services on the East Suffolk line.

Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs at NXEA addressed members of East Suffolk Travellers' Association at their annual general meeting.

He said: “We have the best opportunity in 25 years to obtain an hourly train service between Ipswich and Lowestoft.”

The hourly service will depend on installation of a passing loop at Beccles, which Network Rail plans to install by December 2012.

Mr Denby said that NXEA would press for the work to be done earlier if possible and that third party funding may be necessary to top up the money already promised by Suffolk County Council.

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