Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 2°C

Search

Felixstowe: Passenger trains safe as idea to cut services for extra freight is dropped

08:31 14 February 2013

Port of Felixstowe bosses had suggested axing some passenger trains to make way for more freight on the rails.

Port of Felixstowe bosses had suggested axing some passenger trains to make way for more freight on the rails.

Archant

PORT chiefs today confirmed that they are not pursuing moves to cut passenger services to allow more freight trains to run on the Felixstowe-Ipswich line – and are looking at other solutions.

The idea was put forward by Port of Felixstowe bosses as part of a radical rethink over the use of the “bottleneck” 12-mile line – and to take thousands of lorries off the busy A14.

But travel groups were horrified by the suggestion and called for the port to ditch it and go back and look at different ways of increasing their capacity, including pressing ahead with the £40m scheme to dual part of the line.

Bryan Frost, of Felixstowe Travel Watch, said the port’s suggestion appeared to have found no support with those drawing together ideas for the new rail franchise for the region.

“It’s not been mentioned at any of the meetings and forums I have attended, not a squeak, so perhaps we will hear no more of it – though you can never say never,” he said.

“It would be up to the Department of Transport to make a decision such as cutting passenger services.

“The Felixstowe item on the agenda has been the electrification of our line, especially as it seems Network Rail would prefer electrification of the route from Southampton port – which doesn’t handle anywhere near as many containers as Felixstowe – to the Midlands.

“The franchise process seems to have hit a delay at the moment and there is no specification yet for the public consultation exercise.”

The Port of Felixstowe suggested an express bus service could replace some trains, late morning ones which were less well-used, to provide extra freight capacity, leaving the busy commuter services in place.

It was estimated it would take 60 lorries off the road each time, making environmental and economic sense.

Head of corporate affairs for port owners Hutchison Ports UK, Paul Davey said: “It was not a proposal by the port but an idea which we hoped might bring forward some discussion about meeting the needs of both freight and passenger users.”

It was not a project the port was pursuing and he was unaware of any discussions involving the county council or rail authorities.

The port was also now looking at other solutions to increase rail capacity, with the ability to run longer trains already helping.

2 comments

  • Great news and well done to those who fought against this ludicrous idea - notably travel groups and Therese Coffey MP. Any comment from the town councillors who I recall were completely lily livered about the proposal, waffling on about the need for detailed studies and refusing to come out against it.

    Report this comment

    paul

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • Time now for the port company to stump up the cash they committed to for duelling more of the line.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

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

The number of people caught carrying a bladed weapon in Suffolk has risen to its highest level for six years.

A 42-year-old man arrested following a two-day stand-off with police has been released on bail and will be taken into the care of health professionals.

The morning skies have been putting on a striking show of colour and light over Suffolk this week.

A seven-year-old girl was taken to hospital after the car she was travelling in came off the road and hit a wall.

Ed Sheeran may soon be performing live on stage once more – hot on the heels of his latest album’s release.

All the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas is coming to Trinity Park next month to raise cash for Ipswich youngster George Woodward.

The owner of a fire-damaged Suffolk pub has expressed his willingness to sell the historic building to a community group wishing to take it on.

The Brewery Tap in Cliff Lane is the only food outlet in Ipswich to receive zero stars out of five following a visit by food hygiene inspectors.

A crash has partially blocked the Copdock interchange.

A new project which aims to highlight the importance of reading is proving a page turner in the latest chapter of one Ipswich school’s story, as youngsters and staff alike are encouraged to ‘drop everything and read’.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24