Ipswich: Increase in rail journeys

Increase in number of train journeys in Suffolk

Increase in number of train journeys in Suffolk - Credit: PA

TOURISM leaders today hailed a significant increase in the numbers of rail journeys made to and from Ipswich.

Latest figures show that over the last five years there has been a 15% rise in journeys made into and out of Ipswich by rail and a 29% increase in the number of passengers making leisure trips, also into and out of the town.

The statistics, published by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), reveal that Ipswich was one of only 14 towns or cities to record double-digit growth in rail journeys despite a double dip recession.

The news was today welcomed by tourism chiefs in the town, who highlighted the importance to the local economy of attracting people into Ipswich.

David Stainer, manager of Ipswich Tourist Information Centre, said: “The increase in leisure trips for Ipswich is very good news in particular for local leisure businesses, attractions and amenities.

“Ipswich Borough Council has been pro-active in encouraging visitors to travel by rail to Ipswich by working with its partners, Visit East Anglia, Greater Anglia, and local hotels and attractions, for example, in campaigns including two-for-one offers, which have encouraged visitors from London and the South East.”

According to ATOC, more than 1.44 billion journeys were made in the UK by train last year.

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After years of declining use, rail travel has grown almost every year since the 1990s, making it more popular now than at any time since the 1920s

Greater Anglia offers advance tickets between London and Ipswich that start at £8 and there are now more frequent services operating on some routes into Ipswich.

Michael Roberts, chief executive of ATOC said: “When Britain has recorded little or no economic growth, rail has been helping our great cities by connecting people with jobs, services and leisure opportunities.

“The last time train travel was this popular was almost 90 years ago when the rail network was around twice the size.”

Are you a fan of rail travel? Or are tickets too expensive? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email starnews@archant.co.uk