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Suffolk/Norfolk: New Anglia LEP welcomes fresh investment in the region’s rail services

14:00 16 April 2014

Mark Pendlington.

Mark Pendlington.

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) chairman Mark Pendlington has today welcomed plans by the Government and train operator Abellio to invest in the region’s rail network.

The company is to upgrade its fleet of trains – fitting new carpets and interiors as well as improving wi-fi and installing plug points.

The upgrade forms part of a package of improvements, including more services on rural routes, as part of a deal with Government to extend its franchise.

New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership has prioritised rail improvements to help unlock the economic potential of Norfolk and Suffolk.

The LEP has been working closely with MPs, local authorities, business groups such as the chamber and the FSB and rail user groups in its campaign for improvements. This led to the publication of the East Anglia Rail Prospectus last year and the development of the Norwich in Ninety rail campaign.

Chancellor George Osborne last year recognised the importance of the Norwich in Ninety campaign with the establishment of a task force to develop a plan for improvements on the line.

Mark Pendlington, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, is the co-chair of the Norwich in Ninety taskforce and welcomed today’s investment news.

Mr Pendlington said: “This very welcome new investment in the quality of our rail service is the best possible news for passengers, and provides a real boost for all those who see a top performing transport system as fundamental to business success. This is a turning point after years of under investment in rail in the East, and encourages us all in our campaign to achieve even greater improvements in the vital rail services that serve all parts of this area.”

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