Manningtree/Ipswich: Cameron gets first-hand experience of rail nightmare faced by passengers in East Anglia

David Cameron visits UCS, Ipswich. Pictured with Ben Gummer MP

David Cameron visits UCS, Ipswich. Pictured with Ben Gummer MP - Credit: Archant

The Prime Minister ditched his train at Manningtree yesterday amid fears engineering work would push his schedule off track.

Mr Cameron jumped off the train into waiting cars in the Essex town as he rushed to deliver a keynote speech in Suffolk’s county town fearing overhead line work at Needham Market would create congestion at Ipswich station.

He arrived a few minutes late for a speech at the University Campus Suffolk Waterfront Building, in which he set out a series of new measures designed to make it tougher for immigrants to claim benefits and use public services like the NHS.

Mr Cameron said he had to get off at Manningtree because they thought the trains would be stacked up at Ipswich station.

He said: “It was okay. We hopped in the car and were here in no time at all. I didn’t want to let people down or keep people waiting.”

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During a cabinet visit to Ipswich last year, the Prime Minister admitted the line from London to Ipswich was not as good as others in the country.

He said: “Looking at the railway situation where I recognise that the rolling stock and the quality of your line is not as good as some others in the country and there is a plan to address that which is this longer franchise agreement for 15 years where I know Ben (Gummer) and others will be saying with a longer franchise we want to see better rolling stock, station improvements, line improvements, and that’s what a long franchise gives you the ability to do.”

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