New rail timetable welcomed by MP
A NEW train service being introduced next month will help make north Suffolk “less remote”, an MP claimed yesterday.Waveney MP Bob Blizzard highlighted the new rail services on the East Suffolk Line during a transport debate in the House of Commons.
By David Lennard
A NEW train service being introduced next month will help make north Suffolk “less remote”, an MP claimed yesterday.
Waveney MP Bob Blizzard highlighted the new rail services on the East Suffolk Line during a transport debate in the House of Commons.
He told Transport Secretary Alistair Darling: “I welcome the new timetable for One Anglia services which comes into effect in my constituency in December.
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“It will mean that for the first time since the days of Dr Beeching, Lowestoft and Beccles have a direct service to and from London.”
Labour MP Mr Blizzard said he believed the changes were made possible by the Government combining the franchises of three train operating companies into a single company.
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Train operator One is introducing a new service that will mean through trains from Lowestoft to London, which will call at stations on the East Suffolk Line including Halesworth, Darsham and Saxmundham.
Mr Blizzard said: “The new direct service between Lowestoft and London which begins on December 12 will bring us closer to the capital and make us less remote.
“It will bring benefits for business and leisure. I expect that more people will want to use the new service when it is transformed from a single rattling railcar to a proper comfortable train.”
Government minister Mr Darling agreed that reducing the number of franchises had helped improve the service.
He said: “The service in East Anglia is much better than it was, although one or two difficulties still need to be sorted out.
“As a result of the amalgamation of the new service, we can run more trains and improve reliability.”
There was also good news for public transport users living in Kessingland, near Lowestoft, as better links to the James Paget Hospital at Gorleston are being introduced.
Suffolk County Council, Kessingland Parish Council and Waveney Mr Blizzard have been in discussions with bus company First Eastern Counties and local taxi operator Mike Sutton in a bid to improve the vital link.
And the bus company will introduce a new direct service when the South Lowestoft Relief Road scheme is completed.
In the meantime taxi operator Mr Sutton is hoping to introduce a mini-bus service for Kessingland residents wanting to get to the hospital.
Mr Blizzard said: “I welcome these developments. Kessingland has been left out for too long. It is the largest village in Suffolk with the population of a small town.”