Top Festival Boosted by Free Rail-Bus Link

Members of FolkEast, the Young'uns, and the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership launch the FolkEast Festival and rail-bus link at Ipswich station. A member of staff from Abellio Greater Anglia tries his hand on the melodion!The East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership is to sponsor a special rail-bus link for festival goers this year with the aim of attracting more people to commute by rail, helping the organisers to further extend their extensive green credentials and alleviate potential traffic congestion.

Special Bus Link

One of the country’s top music festivals, FolkEast takes place at Glemham Hall in August and the special bus service will link Wickham Market Station with the event offering free transport to those arriving and departing at the station by rail. The festival attracts several thousand people per day and with an increasing number traveling by train the free shuttle bus services have now been doubled thanks to the support of the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership.

Environmentally Friendly

The bus-rail link further enhances the festival’s environmentally friendly credentials. They currently hold a Suffolk 

The FolkEast rail-link bus at Wickham Market Station

Carbon Charter (Silver) for their work on reducing carbon footprint and this year will source 95% of the entire event infrastructure from Suffolk based companies. Around 90% of all the food sold on site will be Suffolk produced with all of the ales and ciders sourced from Suffolk producers. Festival organisers are also working with Suffolk Groundworks to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill and will be sending compostable waste to a local bio digester. 2015 Runners up (highly commended) in the Greenest County Sustainable Tourism category award, Folk East is regarded as one of the top five folk based festivals in the UK.

A spokesperson for FolkEast added, “We are delighted to receive support from the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership, allowing us to double the number of buses from Wickham Market Station to the festival site. Each year the festival grows substantially and their support will help to reduce the number of vehicles using an already congested A12 and help to support our desire to be one of the greenest festivals in Europe.”

A spokesperson for the Community Rail Partnership added, “We are pleased to support FolkEast and their environmentally friendly objectives by helping to provide a special rail-bus link. 2016 marks a special year for the East Suffolk Line as we celebrate fifty years since escaping the Beeching Axe, it is therefore wonderful that we can now sponsor this important link to the festival enabling many more festival goers the convenience of a dedicated bus link, enabling them to travel in a more environmentally sustainable way and enjoy more of the beautiful Suffolk Countryside on their journey.”

The Young'uns perform an impromptu concert on board the train

Group Save Tickets and Anglia Plus Rover Tickets

There are a number of options available to those coming to the festival by rail including group save tickets allowing up to a third off travel with accompanying children at just £1, and for those travelling from within Norfolk & Suffolk and parts of Cambridgeshire, a special Anglia Rover rail ticket which can also offer substantial savings. Full details are available at the Abellio Greater Anglia website and on the FolkEast website. 

The East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership is an association of local authorities, community groups, Network Rail and rail operator, Abellio Greater Anglia which support and encourage use of the railways running between Ipswich and Lowestoft and Ipswich and Felixstowe. The Ipswich to Lowestoft line marks fifty years in 2016 since it was reprieved from full closure as recommended in the notorious Beeching Report. Use of the line has rocketed by 99% since the introduction of a Mon-Sat hourly service, with additional trains also added on Sunday’s to help cope with demand.

The Young’uns on board

To mark the announcement of the Community Rail Partnership’s support for the festival Rail-Bus link, BBC award winning musicians, The Young’ uns joined the train at Ipswich Station for a photo call before performing on board the train to Wickham Market.