Passengers in East Suffolk will have more say on how local rail services are run after two lines have been designated as community rail services, Rail Minister Baroness Kramer announced today, 03 March 2015. Designation of the East Suffolk Line (Ipswich – Lowestoft) and the Felixstowe Line (Ipswich – Felixstowe) will enable train operator Abellio Greater Anglia to work more closely with the Community Rail Partnership to better design services to meet local needs.
Rail Minister Baroness Kramer said:
“I am delighted to announce the designation of the East Suffolk Lines as a community rail service. It is a very practical way of helping local groups to develop innovative and more cost effective rail services for their communities, through working closely with the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership.
It is important that smaller communities benefit from our huge rail investment programme, which will help build a stronger economy and a fairer society”
Jamie Burles, Managing Director for Abellio Greater Anglia, which runs services on the route, said:
“We welcome the Community Rail designation of the East Suffolk lines. Over the last few years, joint initiatives between Abellio Greater Anglia, Suffolk County Council and the East Suffolk Community Rail Partnership (CRP) have seen the introduction of an hourly service along the entire route, which has led to an increase in passenger journeys of over 92%. We’ve also delivered an ongoing programme of station improvements, with the installation of ticket vending machines at some stations and better integrated transport facilities. The formal designation of the line will help us to maintain this positive momentum and deliver further improvements to services and stations to the benefit of the customers and communities it serves. We will continue to play our full part in the ongoing future development of this important regional route, starting with the introduction of two additional Sunday services from May this year.”
Aaron Taffera, Chairman East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership said:
“We’re very pleased that the East Suffolk Lines have gained Community Rail designation status. The East Suffolk CRP has already played a valuable role in the development and promotion of this important route. Designation will provide more opportunities to build further partnerships, secure more funding for more projects and help the lines continue to thrive in the future.”
The new designation will also provide access to small scale additional funding for schemes that are of benefit to passengers.