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MPs told Norwich to London investment three or four times bigger than HS2

09:54 28 October 2014

Mark Pendlington, chairman of the New Anglia LEP

Mark Pendlington, chairman of the New Anglia LEP

Copyright © Keith Whitmore

Multi-million pound investment on the rail line between Norfolk and Suffolk and London could provide an investment and jobs return three or four times bigger than the controversial high-speed two line from the capital to the Midlands, MPs have been told.

Mark Pendlington, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and co-chair of the Great Eastern Rail Campaign, gave evidence to the Transport Select Committee in parliament as the group put the finishing touches to its report, which will be handed to the Government in the coming weeks. The campaign has been backed online by 1,600 people.

He also told MPs that companies looking to re-locate to East Anglia were nervous about the state of the railways, telling the committee that an international businessman deciding whether to locate his enterprise in Norfolk had been stuck at Liverpool Street station earlier in the summer.

Mr Pendlington said: “I was at the other end of the line waiting to see him to say ‘this is a great, dynamic, vibrant economy, you need to be here for lifestyle for work, for employees for skills’. I could see the look he gave me off the train.”

He warned that there were many more looking, but there was a “big disincentive” because of the state of the railway, saying that transport needed to be taken off the worry list of investors.

But he said that he was “very confident” that the region’s rail campaign would be successful in winning money for investment, after the Chancellor is given the business case.

He said it was the “strongest and most compelling case” that he has seen for investment in over 30 years in business, and if investment was not provided, it would consign East Anglia - “one of the two great contributors to the Treasury” - to “10 more years of misery and inadequate infrastructure”.

“When you are looking at the investment we are asking for, it is in budgets already. We are just asking for prioritisation and a little bit of help.”

He said that the indication from consultants working on the project was that the return could be three or four times that of the projects HS2 or HS3 - amounting to eight or nine for each pound spent. “I hope the Chancellor is listening when we give in the document,” he added.

“We would be very free to create the California of Europe,” he added.

22 comments

  • Any 'business case' they faff together is flawed. Social value is the only positive but the cost of these schemes are far too much

    Report this comment

    Parsnip

    Thursday, October 30, 2014

  • Daniel.... I didn't mean take the service anyway but not pay, I meant just don't use the service if you think its not worth the asking price...... simples.

    Report this comment

    expat

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • Don't think the British Transport Police of the Greater Anglia franchise would look kindly at your policy of not paying the fare

    Report this comment

    daniel ......

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • @John Bradley, I like your Norwich-Peterboro-Brum rail map - which illustrates perfectly the hopelessly wiggly nature of the present line, which arose by accident, not design. Good case for taking trains also via Cambridge and then west on the new Cambridge-Milton-Keynes-Oxford line, which I imagine will generate similar benefits to East Anglian rail upgrades...

    Sorry haven't got an aerial map!

    Report this comment

    lawrence18uk

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • Daniel - then don't pay for it... simples

    Report this comment

    expat

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • expat, so if we shouldn't expect a service which is reliable, why should we be paying for one, ticket prices are ridiculous

    Report this comment

    daniel ......

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • Rule 1 - The further and more often you travel the more likely things will go wrong. The London line will always be a problem for regular commuters because they are on the limits of Rule 1.

    Report this comment

    expat

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • If it existed beyond the spin not substance offered by Chloe Smith,"Norwich in 90" is decaying somewhere in a siding,a decrepit rustbucket.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • Totally agree with Amsterdam81. The Anglia LEP (based on the A11 at Wymondham,south of Norwich) appears totally Norwich centric. They have secured a massive £250m spending to speed up traffic tofromvia Norwich with the A11 & A47 upgrades, whilst Suffolk's two economic powerhouses (Greater Ipswich & Port of Felixstowe) will see its transport slowed down to 50MPH FOREVER. Rail upgrades will be nice to have, but an Ipswich northern bypass is the No.1 priority for Ipswich & Suffolk. Anything else is a side show !

    Report this comment

    Mark Ling

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • The problem with massive investment on the line into London is that it's just going to encourage more Londoners to move into Suffolk & Norfolk, pushing house prices up so they're even more out of the reach of locals. What we really need the money spent on is intra and inter regional lines to connect the country **outside** London.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • We need this, we really need this. Warm Regards, Whiley.

    Report this comment

    Whiley Boy

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • East Anglia is one of the two great contributers to the Treasury. What? Who is the other? Puff the Magic Dragon?

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • How does the song go.."California Dreaming" !... dream on !...........

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • I would think there are local corridors all over the country which would benefit more from improved spending on the rail network relative to the HS spending. Take the Norwich to Peterborough, Norwich to Cambridge, Cambridge to Peterborough "triangle". I think of I was commuting everyday I would put reliability over and above shaving minutes off the journey-a train line that would get all the timetabled trains to their destination all the time. If the EDP carried a link to the petition or had publicised it more it might have helped.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • What a pathetic attempt. What does the last sentence even mean? Who is this Mark Pendlington? Hope he'll be replaced by a competent Chair soon because with him as spokesperson the region's transport has no chance.

    Report this comment

    socrates

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • The real issue is that it is Suffolk that lacks infrastructure investment rather than Norfolk which has just had the A11 upgrade, a Norwich bypass is currently underway and they are pressing for an upgrade of the A47. Suffolk needs a Northern bypass as well as upgrades to the railway network both for commuters and the container traffic from Felixstowe. If the only way to press the case is in tandem with Norfolk so be it but we should not forget that Suffolk is constantly overlooked and one wonders what our county council and MPs are doing while government money is invested elsewhere.

    Report this comment

    amsterdam81

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • 1,600 people online is more a sign of apathy, it's a very small number. The line needs upgrading for sure, but Mr Pendlington will need to do rather better than anecdotal evidence.

    Report this comment

    Esco Fiasco

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • Iceni Warrior also asks if the 1600 who signed the petition are also the 1600 commuters from Norwich? Millions of pounds for 1600 people?

    Report this comment

    Iceni Warrior

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • Iceni Warrior wishes Martyn John WIlde a safe journey back to California.

    Report this comment

    Iceni Warrior

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • having been to california i can safely say norfolk will never come close. the weather,dull people and lack of personal freedoms will see to that.

    Report this comment

    Martyn John Wilde

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • "supported by 1600 people"..... really?? That many? I love these kind of pie in the sky type articles where some MP or other so called local bigwig (Chloe Smith is the usual culprit) talks a very big fight but when it comes to it the people who hold the purse strings decline to spend...that is when they've stopped laughing....

    Report this comment

    Tootyfrooty

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

  • Improve the connection to Birmingham would also help NOrwich connect to the rest of the UK.

    liv_nor

    Report this comment

    John Bradley

    Monday, October 27, 2014

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

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