Call for £3m railway boost

RAIL bosses were last night urged to back a £3million scheme of improvements for the east Suffolk line to help with the regeneration of Waveney.Consultants brought in by Suffolk County Council have recommended the introduction of hourly services between Lowestoft, Ipswich and London.

RAIL bosses were last night urged to back a £3million scheme of improvements for the east Suffolk line to help with the regeneration of Waveney.

Consultants brought in by Suffolk County Council have recommended the introduction of hourly services between Lowestoft, Ipswich and London.

And Faber Maunsell have called on Network Rail to create a “passing loop” at Beccles Station, aimed at making the services more direct.

The consultants have also suggested reducing journey times on routes would make the line more attractive to commuters and take traffic off the A12.


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Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council transport portfolio holder, said: “The consultants have demonstrated that it's worthwhile getting an hourly service into Lowestoft. In order to do that we've got to reinstate the Beccles loop.

“There's a small pot of money available for things like this and it's up to us to get some partners together and push for it.

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“I do think it would be a big boost for Lowestoft. It will give them an hourly service and make it more accessible.

“This is pretty important. It's part of our approach to keep on reviving the fortunes of Lowestoft.”

Mr McGregor said it was now a case of applying for funding for scheme and generating support among businesses and local authorities. If this proves successful, Mr McGregor said he hoped the improvements to the line could be in place within two or three years.

A number of options were examined by the consultants but it was decided the most achievable plan would be to bypass Beccles on certain journeys.

In December 2004, direct services between Lowestoft and London were reinstated, helping boost passenger numbers by 16%. These currently run every two hours.

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