Big boost in passenger numbers on East Suffolk Line
A record number of passengers used the Lowestoft to Ipswich track last year – with an extra 10,000 people travelling on its trains.
Abellio Greater Anglia said the line had recorded its “highest ever number of passengers” at more than 685,000 passenger journeys.
The growth follows investment by Abellio Greater Anglia in improvements to stations and trains, including repainting at Melton and Woodbridge rail stations, as well as an upgrade to the lighting at Melton.
In partnership with Suffolk County Council and the Designated Community Rail Development Fund, a new automatic ticket vending machine and CCTV was also installed at Halesworth rail station last summer.
Repairs were also carried outo Brampton station platform.
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In addition, a £100,000 project to improve the travelling environment on the train operator’s fleet of Class 170 trains, which serve the East Suffolk Line, is continuing. The trains will have all the upholstery replaced on over 2,000 seats over the coming months to provide passengers with cleaner, smarter interiors.
The line will also continue to benefit from the support of the East Suffolk Line Community Rail Partnership.
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Abellio Greater Anglia’s area customer service manager, Neil Grabham, said, “By working together with partners who share an interest in the success of the East Suffolk line, we are committed to making the Ipswich to Lowestoft route even more successful and an even more valuable asset to the communities it serves, supporting tourism and the local economy.”
Over the last few years the opening of the Beccles loop and, following campaigning by the East Suffolk Travellers’ Association, the introduction of an hourly service on the whole of the line for the first time ever has paved the way for the huge increase in the number of passengers.
More work has been planned too. Last year Suffolk Coastal and Suffolk County Council agreed a deal with Darsham Country Centre to create an £80,000 second car park to serve Darsham railway station. The car park on the east side of the A12 is not big enough and because of the danger of crossing the busy road, it is hoped people will use the new car park.