Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 17°C

Search

East Anglia: Rail problems impact on business and commuters

06:00 27 August 2014

Ben Gummer MP for Ipswich

Ben Gummer MP for Ipswich

Archant

Political and business leaders are demanding improvements to the region’s rail management after another day of disruption for travellers.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, a member of the East Anglian Rail Taskforce which is seeking major improvements to the region’s services, felt Network Rail’s promise to look again at next weekend’s engineering work was not a good enough response.

He said: “Much of the railway in this region is very out-dated. It needs to be modernised and the response to a problem like this should not be to put off the work. They should have got it right in the first place.

“I shall be speaking to Network Rail at the very highest level to make it clear that the standard of service we get in this region is quite unacceptable.”

He repeated his call from two weeks ago for heads to roll at Network Rail, saying: “It is clear that someone is not doing their job properly. Whoever that is needs to be replaced by someone who can do the job.”

And he warned that with the taskforce calling for new investment, they needed to be confident that Network Rail could deliver that investment without plunging the region’s railways into chaos.

His Labour opponent at next year’s general election David Ellesmere has been supportive of attempts to improve services to the region, but felt the priority should be getting the basics right.

He said: “It’s all very well to talk about getting to Norwich in 90 minutes or Ipswich in 60 minutes – but if you’re not able to get the basics right like doing engineering work on time, what’s the point?

“We should be concentrating on getting the trains running reliably on track that works so people can travel in reasonable comfort for affordable fares.”

He said it was also important that there was a reliable rail link for businesses considering relocating to the town.

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, which is heading the Great Eastern Rail Campaign, said: “Once again long-suffering rail passengers in our region have been late for work, missed meetings or important appointments.

“They rightly feel they are not getting good value for money or the service they deserve.

“It is vital for our region’s economy that we have a robust and reliable train service which is why we are campaigning for significant investment in the Great Eastern Main Line and, together with our partners across Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk, will be taking our case to Government in the autumn.”

Suffolk Coastal MP Therse Coffey was also disappointed by the engineering over-run. She said: “This is very poor by Network Rail again today.

“They had previously given assurances that the works at Ipswich Station would be complete by this morning but they have over-run again as did the works two week ago, causing major disruption.

“This is unacceptable for commuters returning to work after the bank holiday weekend and it’s appalling that the service to Felixstowe has been cancelled for the entire day.”

3 comments

  • Blue&white, If you think that looks awkward you should attend one of his "Ben in the pub" sessions. Apparently it's the best comedy for miles

    Report this comment

    jane

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

  • I just love this awkwardly posed picture of Ben Gummer as a "commuter". I'd be interested to know how often he actually travels by train, and then in standard class like the rest of us?

    Report this comment

    blue&white

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

  • Don't forget the night workers trying to get home and to their beds. I know one who got as far as Colchester and was then faced with problems in getting to Ipswich.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A 15-year-old girl has been reported missing from Ipswich

A 50 year-old man who died following a road traffic collision yesterday has been named as Stewart Mackenzie from Westleton.

Today we launch the first in a series of features looking back at Ipswich’s past - its famous faces, prestigious landmarks and the defining moments that helped shape the town.

A trio of older motorists from Suffolk have proved it is never too late to become a better driver – and urged other road users to follow in their tracks.

Community leaders say the year-long trial to allow cycling on Felixstowe’s promenade has not yet started – and people riding their bikes are breaking the law.

A man has contacted police after an image was released following an alleged assault in Bentley last month.

A Suffolk cystic fibrosis sufferer who used exercise and bodybuilding to boost his lung capacity is “delighted and relieved” after successfully completing his first ever half-marathon.

A teacher at a former Suffolk boarding school who was jailed for 21 years for sexually abusing eight pupils is seeking leave to appeal his conviction.

A restaurateur has praised the ‘honourable’ parents of an Ipswich thief involved in a ‘dine and dash’ after they paid the £147 bill their daughter and her fellow diner left behind.

A secret bidder last week paid £6,200 for the iconic Ed Sheer-Ham artwork from the Pigs Gone Wild trail and today we can reveal the real buyer was actually Suffolk singer and star of the new Bridget Jones movie, Ed Sheeran.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24