Search

Calls for investment in rail services in Newmarket

PUBLISHED: 07:30 13 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:32 13 September 2019

The consortium is calling for investment in Newmarket railway station Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The consortium is calling for investment in Newmarket railway station Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Archant

Calls for investment in rail infrastructure have been made by politicians and businesses in Newmarket.

New Stadler trains are being brought in to Suffolk services by Greater Anglia Picture: BRAD WRIGHTNew Stadler trains are being brought in to Suffolk services by Greater Anglia Picture: BRAD WRIGHT

Calls for investment in rail infrastructure have been made by politicians and businesses in Newmarket.

A consortium including Suffolk County Council, West Suffolk District Council and the Newmarket Jockey Club met with stakeholders from the horse racing industry, MPs and Network Rail to discuss rail needs for the town.

This includes calls for a half-hourly passenger rail service to Cambridge, and direct rail connectivity with Oxford, London, the Midlands, the north of England and Scotland.

Information was also presented on the new East West Rail Link, a rail project that will eventually connect Suffolk and Norfolk with Oxford via Cambridge.

Mary Evans, deputy leader and cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs at Suffolk County Council Picture: DEREK ADAMSMary Evans, deputy leader and cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs at Suffolk County Council Picture: DEREK ADAMS

The consortium said investment was vital if more frequent passenger rail services at Newmarket and wider rail connectivity to the rest of the UK were to be achieved.

Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council's deputy leader and cabinet member transport, said: "It is critical we all work together to give the message that we are serious about seeing rail investment in Suffolk.

"We are delighted that Suffolk is getting brand new trains, which will do great things for the county, but we also need Government to invest in our railway infrastructure.

You may also want to watch:

"Such investment will deliver more frequent services and make towns, such as Newmarket, more accessible to the rest of the UK."

Amy Starkey, eastern regional director for The Jockey Club, said it had "exciting ambitions" for Newmarket but added: "We need a high quality and well-connected transport system to make our town more accessible to our community, visitors, racegoers, employees and investors.

"The horseracing and bloodstock industries are a significant contributor to the regional and national economies, generating £242 million in gross value added to the UK treasury in 2016 and jointly provide over 8,500 jobs to local people.

"Opening Newmarket to a wider audience cannot be achieved by relying on the roads alone.

"It is rail that has the potential to better connect our town across the county, the region and the country."

A plan will now be developed to set out actions and timescales for delivering rail improvements, with further meetings scheduled to discuss progress.

A spokesman for Network Rail, the body which manages most of the national rail infrastructure, said: "Network Rail representatives were pleased to join colleagues from across the rail industry in Newmarket, where we clearly heard the town's aspirations for improved services.'

"As was highlighted in the presentations, Greater Anglia's new trains will provide more capacity and enhance the quality of the existing hourly service.

"Looking ahead, East West Rail is likely to provide the best vehicle through which further improvements could be delivered, and Network Rail's Cambridgeshire Corridor Study identified the infrastructure interventions that could be required to accommodate this.

"In addition, we remain happy to discuss further initiatives with possible funders and other interested parties."

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists