Why does it take so long to travel from Campsea Ashe to Ipswich on the East Suffolk Rail Line?

An East Suffolk Line train prepares to depart Wickham Market

An East Suffolk Line train prepares to depart Wickham Market - Credit: Archant

Recently in Parliament I welcomed the opportunity to debate future investment in the East Suffolk railway line along with my neighbouring MP for Waveney, Peter Aldous, writes Dr Dan Poulter MP.

I have written regularly about the need for improved infrastructure here in Suffolk, be that highways or broadband, but equally important is our rail infrastructure which plays a vital role in the continued success of our economy here in Suffolk.

One thing that struck me when I first started using the trains in Suffolk is the incredibly lengthy amount of time it takes to travel from somewhere very near my constituency, such as Campsea Ashe in the Wickham Market area, to Ipswich, and then of course onwards London.

For anyone involved in business or commuting, this can be a major disincentive to using the trains at all in travelling to or from Suffolk, and I am all too aware of passengers’ frustrations in using the Greater Anglia Main Line.

Speeding up the travel times on the East Suffolk line to join with the Ipswich junction would be one of the key solutions that would help to ensure Suffolk is a more attractive and competitive region to live, work and invest in. Another very clear benefit of improving the East Suffolk railway line would be to assist in shifting a considerable amount of traffic off the A12.

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Of particular importance on this line is the Felixstowe to Nuneaton freight rail link and the Westerfield junction, which lies within Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, and the improvements that are needed there to support that freight rail link.

Given that 46% of the UK’s container traffic goes through Felixstowe port, I am fully of the opinion that especially in light of the construction of Sizewell C, this is a matter that should be given priority standing by transport ministers.

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There is also the importance of improving capacity and service frequency on the East Suffolk line. We are struggling to some extent with what is a single-track railway for the majority of its length.

This very clearly is a hindrance to increasing the frequency and the attractiveness of the line which I touched on earlier.

For more information, please visit my website.

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