Call for more frequent train services

CAMPAIGNERS are calling on train operators to improve services to a rapidly expanding town.

John Howard

CAMPAIGNERS are calling on train operators to improve services to a rapidly expanding town.

Councillors want to see the hourly service at Stowmarket, on the main Norwich to London line, upgraded to every 30 minutes.

Currently, there is a train to Norwich which stops on the hour during off-peak periods, but others pass through Stowmarket without halting.

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Town councillor Chris Vecchi said: “There are 19,000 residents in Stowmarket and that is likely to expand to 20,000 in the next couple of years, with thousands more families in the surrounding villages.

“There is a London to Norwich train which generally through the day is an hourly service, but every half hour a train from the capital comes through that does not stop.

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“This is a simple change that would improve life for residents in the town and villages. Alright it would mean a slightly slower half hourly service as the train stops for a couple of minutes, but a lot of people would not mind that.

“We are trying to attract more people into Stowmarket to live and a better transport service would help and boost our local economy too.

“With petrol prices rising and concerns about the environment we want to see people having the opportunity to use the trains as much as possible.”

A spokesman for rail operator National Express welcomed the suggestion and said it would be investigated.

A spokesman said: “The best way forward now is for us to talk with councillors to see exactly what their views are.

“It is not something we could do immediately, we would need to take account of the overall timetable and it would effect other trains.”

Stowmarket Town Council has now set up a working group to look into improvements they would like to see in rail services to their market town and will meet for the first time soon.

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