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Petition appeals to rail bosses

PUBLISHED: 05:11 20 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

A SUFFOLK MP has called for major improvements at a train station after being handed petition signed by more than 500 residents.

People in Brandon on the Suffolk/Norfolk border have been furious ever since Anglia Railways launched its new Norwich to Cambridge service last year.

A SUFFOLK MP has called for major improvements at a train station after being handed petition signed by more than 500 residents.

People in Brandon on the Suffolk/Norfolk border have been furious ever since Anglia Railways launched its new Norwich to Cambridge service last year.

The new hourly express service includes stops at Thetford, Attleborough and Wymondham, but not at Brandon, even though trains have to travel through the station on route.

Although skeleton services do still stop at Brandon, residents claim they are getting a raw deal and say more trains are needed to serve the town.

Brandon resident Kelvin Howes was left so angry after both Anglia Railways and Central trains refused to increase the services they provide at Brandon, he launched a petition.

Mr Howes, 30, handed the 517-signature petition to West Suffolk MP Richard Spring at the station on Saturday.

Mr Howes said: "Brandon has been treated like the poor relation. The new service passes right through here, but does not stop. It is ridiculous, we desperately need more trains to stop at Brandon, but we just have watch one pass straight through every hour.

"There are lots of people who want to use the service to go to places like Ely, Cambridge and Norwich. It would only add two to three minutes onto the journey.

"The Government are trying to encourage more people off the roads and to use public transport, but how can we when we only get a couple of trains here a day.

"We also want major improvements at the station. There are no facilities and no disabled access and the place is an embarrassing eyesore."

After receiving the petition Mr Spring promised to battle for improvement on the line and said he will immediately discuss the matter with the rail companies and Strategic Rail Authority.

"We have increased trains passing through Brandon, which chokes up the traffic in the town and causes more problems.

"We need a more desirable service here, which means more trains stopping to allow people to travel to other places. Brandon is tucked in the north west corner of Suffolk and everybody forgets about it, the situation is hopeless. It is a vicious circle, because there is not enough trains, not enough people use the station, which means the facilities and the fabric of the buildings also deteriorate. Something must be done."

Anglia Railways and Central Trains have stated they do not intend to increase the services in Brandon and said they are meeting guidelines set out under the Public Service Requirement.

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