Don't just focus on London trains - East Anglian rail group

Cambridge Train

New trains have been introduced on routes like that from Ipswich to Cambridge. - Credit: Greater Anglia

Rail campaigners are calling on the government and Greater Anglia to do more to improve links between major towns and cities in the region rather than concentrating on lines to London.

The East Anglian branch of Railfuture has called for more emphasis to be given to links between Ipswich, Norwich, Colchester, Cambridge and Peterborough - and for their links to coastal communities - rather than just on lines to London.

Writing in its most recent newsletter, the vice-chair of Railfuture East Anglia Peter Wakefield said: "London will still be an important destination but Railfuture thinks it is time for railway planners to initiate a gradual shift from being totally London orientated to more 'big five.'

"All these urban centres have their own severe traffic problems with radial roads congested, producing poor and often dangerous public health outcomes."

He pointed to the relatively slow speed of the A140 between Ipswich and Norwich and said it was also important to promote links from the major towns to coastal destinations because leisure travel was likely to become ever more important in the future.

Some of the towns and cities mentioned are already linked by London-bound trains. Ipswich and Colchester are on the main line from Norwich to London and are served by Intercity trains.

And there have been improvements on cross-country links with the introduction of new trains on lines from Norwich and Ipswich to Cambridge and Peterborough as well as coastal routes.

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A Greater Anglia spokeswoman said: “We are proud to promote the communities we serve.

“All routes are served by new trains which are longer and have more seats. We have half-hourly services between Norwich, Ipswich and Colchester and hourly services between Norwich and Cambridge and Ipswich and Cambridge.

"Cambridge, Norwich and Peterborough are also served by other operators, offering further travel options for passengers.

“We actively promote destinations across our network and anyone looking for travel inspiration can visit our website. We will continue to have a positive dialogue with Railfuture and we will continue to monitor passenger demand going forward.”