East Suffolk: Passenger group calls for improvements to train stations on the line between Ipswich and Lowestoft

Trains into London were delayed during the morning rush hour due to overrunning engineering works

Trains into London were delayed during the morning rush hour due to overrunning engineering works - Credit: Archant

A passenger group has called for a raft of improvements to stations along a stretch of railway track.

Recent figures have shown that more and more people are using the East Suffolk Line that runs from Ipswich to Lowestoft. The local passenger group is now calling for station improvements to reflect its increasing popularity.

The East Suffolk Travellers’ Association (ESTA) has sent a report to train operator Greater Anglia, Suffolk County Council, MPs and other interested bodies. It indicates that while all stations had timetable information, some were only available on one platform, while onward travel maps varied from “very informative” at Halesworth to “very poor” at Westerfield.

It was also felt that more car parking was needed at Melton, Wickham Market, Saxmundham and Darsham, while it was considered that provision of a car park at Westerfield should be explored.

Concern is also expressed about the lack of information on fares at unstaffed stations, although the group welcomed the installation of ticket machines at Woodbridge, Saxmundham and Beccles.

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ESTA chairman Trevor Garrod said: “As more people use the stations, it makes sense to invest in some improvements. Real-time screens are definitely needed at Melton, Wickham Market and Oulton Broad South. We also welcome the instalment of a modern LED information screen on the new platform at Beccles.”

Other recommendations include more seating, installing real-time information screens at stations not currently equipped and replacing existing ones with LED displays for improved readability. The group has also called for a review of local maps, a poster detailing the most significant fares and restrictions, information boards on all platforms and bus stop flags for rail replacement buses.

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A Greater Anglia spokeswoman said several projects were under way - including car parking at Melton and Wickham Market, with new schemes also being explored at Saxmundham and Darsham. There are also plans to restore the waiting room at Saxmundham. “We have worked with partners to introduce other improvements for the line and will continue to develop plans to further improve facilities,” she added.

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