MPs will maintain fight for Beccles rail loop

SUFFOLK MPs are to keep up the pressure on the Government and county council to try to ensure that the Beccles loop is built on the east Suffolk rail line.

Last month the Government confirmed that Network Rail will be allowed to spend up to �3million on reinstating the loop that was removed when the line was reduced to single track in 1984.

However, this depends on �1m coming from local sources. The county council has said it would fund this, but with the cuts facing the authority it is not able to give a solid commitment at this stage.

County councillor with responsibility for transport Guy McGregor said: 'This is a project that I see as vital and I shall be pressing for, but until we see what the government allows us to spend on capital projects and until my colleagues have looked at all the competing pressures we cannot give a cast-iron assurance on this.

'What I would say to Therese Coffey and Peter Aldous [Suffolk Coastal and Waveney MPs] is that they should continue to lobby the government to ensure we have a reasonable capital programme for next year.'

Mr Aldous said the main negotiation would have to be between the county council and the Government, but he would be happy to do anything he could to keep up the pressure.

He said: 'It is absolutely vital that this is all agreed. I will certainly do what I can – but I think we are so far down the line with it that it will happen.'

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Dr Coffey said she would be checking with the county to see what she could do.

'As far as I am aware everything should be fine, but if there is anything more that needs to be done then I will be happy to help.

'It is vital that this work is completed to allow hourly services throughout east Suffolk,' she said.

Network Rail hopes to complete the work at Beccles as part of the re-signalling of the line in 2011/12.