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Sunday train services to improve across region - but not on all routes

PUBLISHED: 16:30 25 September 2019

More Sunday trains will run on the East Suffolk Line between Lowestoft and  Ipswich from December. Picture: PAUL GEATER

More Sunday trains will run on the East Suffolk Line between Lowestoft and Ipswich from December. Picture: PAUL GEATER

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An hourly service is being introduced on three Suffolk rail routes seven days a week from December.

Trains will run every hour during the day on Sundays on the East Suffolk Line from Ipswich to Lowestoft, between Ipswich and Cambridge and on the Lowestoft to Norwich from December 15.

There are already hourly services on these lines on weekdays and Saturdays. And there will be an extra Sunday train on the Felixstowe branch from the start of the new timetable.

However Greater Anglia's aim of running an hourly service on the route between Ipswich and Peterborough is still not in the timetable - the company is talking to Network Rail about capacity issues on that route.

There are problems with bottlenecks at Haughley junction just north of Stowmarket, at Ely, and on the single-track stretch through Soham in Cambridgeshire.

Jonathan Denby, from Greater Anglia, said: "We are working hard with Network Rail to try to get these issues resolved. We know the demand is there for an hourly service. We put it in our franchise agreement and we'll have the new trains for it.

"But we have to wait until they can be fitted in - and hope that will happen before too long.

"We're really pleased at the other services. Introducing an hourly service is fundamental to growing passenger numbers.

"If people know their train leaves at so many minutes past the hour every hour they are much more confident about using the train."

Greater Anglia is also introducing some through services between Norwich and Stansted Airport in the new timetable.

Aaron Taffera, Chair of The East Suffolk Community Rail Partnership said: "We're delighted by this fantastic news. The new hourly service in Sundays is a big deal for the Ipswich - Lowestoft line as this doubles the number of services people will be able to use.

"The current Sunday timetable is a two-hourly frequency between Ipswich and Lowestoft, so this will effectively double capacity on the line and make travelling on it so much more convenient and attractive.

"With new trains on the way too, the line is set to continue to go from strength to strength, benefiting local people, tourists and the Suffolk economy."

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