Suffolk/Essex: New homes could bring more pressure

Derek Monnery is upset over the train delays at Manningtree Station on Tuesday morning that affects

Derek Monnery is upset over the train delays at Manningtree Station on Tuesday morning that affects both him and his partner who commutes to London everyday. - Credit: Archant

Under-investment in the main line to London could become an even more serious problem as the number of homes in the area rises.

That’s the fear of Derek Monnery, from the Essex Federation of Rail Users who lives near Manningtree station.

He said yesterday’s delays had caused serious problems for existing commuters – but numbers were likely to increase over the next few years.

“There has to be more investment in the railway and a long term strategy. At the moment all the trains are being painted white because Greater Anglia only has an interim franchise which is being extended.

“We’re not getting a long-term strategy in this region but passenger numbers keep on increasing.

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“Here in Manningtree there are 500 homes being built. We know they’re going up here because it’s near the railway and that at least three quarters of the people will be commuters to London.

“And that’s happening all along the line – there are new homes in Ipswich, Colchester, Chelmsford and many other places.

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“But while there is investment in new homes, there isn’t the same level of investment in the railway, which means you’ll get more days like today affecting more and more people.”

The Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is campaigning for more investment in transport of all forms.

Chief executive John Dugmore said: “Transport infrastructure is an issue that business large and small regularly tell the Chamber are key indicators for a thriving economy in Suffolk.

“For example, the big response to the Chamber’s No Toll Tax on Suffolk campaign shows that firms welcome investment but it cannot be ‘jam tomorrow’ and it cannot be as a tax on hard working business.

“Until these matters are addressed and our county has transport links a modern thriving economy like Suffolk requires then it will affect investment.”

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