Government boost for east-west line

An Ipswich train at Peterborough

An Ipswich train at Peterborough - Credit: Archant

A government boost for the cross-country line linking East Anglia with the midlands and the north will raise hopes that an hourly service could be introduced between Ipswich and Peterborough.

The 29-mile section between Ely and Peterborough has been designated a Community Rail Partnership which should lead to further investment from local companies on the route.

And the fact that the Department for Transport has sanctioned the move will encourage campaigners that it will encourage bidders for the rail franchise to introduce an hourly service from Ipswich when the new deal starts in October next year.

That section, through Manea, March, and Whittlesea stations, will be marketed as the Hereward Line – and whoever runs the service will be encouraged to operate more trains to these stations.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “This railway provides a vital link for rural communities, businesses and visitors. It makes perfect sense that locals should be directly involved in improving these services.”

Jamie Burles, MD for Abellio Greater Anglia, said: “Designation will provide more opportunities to build further partnerships, secure more funding for more projects and help the line continue to thrive in the future.

“We have already helped increase passenger demand, especially at Manea where the introduction of stops on our Ipswich to Peterborough services has led to an increase in passenger numbers of more than 135%.”

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