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Network Rail proposals welcomed

07:00 08 January 2013

Ben Gummer MP at Ipswich Railway Station

Ben Gummer MP at Ipswich Railway Station


POLITICIANS and business leaders have welcomed Network Rail’s proposed investment in the region’s infrastructure – but have vowed to maintain the pressure.


A key proposal of the rail manifesto published last year was the development of a third line between Chelmsford and Witham to ease congestion.

That is not included in the five-year plan, but Ipswich MP Ben Gummer who has been a leading member of the group said the proposals were a useful building block.

He said: “We are getting there – the proposals here are looking towards building towards major projects and hopefully this will be included in the next programme.

“There is a great deal of necessary preparatory work in this programme and it shows the value of working together.”

Witham MP Priti Patel has also been involved in preparing the manifesto.

She said: “I am very optimistic about the future because this shows that Network Rail recognises the importance of the route and its role in the economy.

“The amount of money they are planning to invest in the route is very substantial, and everyone will be hoping it improves the reliability of the service.”

Suffolk county council’s transport spokesman Guy McGregor welcomed the news that there would be improvements to rural routes – and he said his authority would work with Network Rail to make changes to level crossings where necessary.

He said: “We need to improve journey times and changing some crossings will be necessary – especially on routes like the East Suffolk line.”

Ruud Haket, Managing Director, Greater Anglia said: “We welcome the announcement by Network Rail of their five-year business plan and the commitment to deliver further upgrades to infrastructure.

“We have been instrumental in working with MPs and regional stakeholders across the Greater Anglia network to make the case for more investment in the region’s rail network through the development of the East Anglian Rail Prospectus.

“This business plan reflects much of that work and is an excellent start in meeting the aspirations of the region for significant upgrades to train services and rail infrastructure.

“We are particularly pleased to see that as well as the Bow Junction and Ely North Junction schemes, there is work planned to look at line speed improvements on the Great Eastern Main Line.”

Andy Wood, chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Improving our rail infrastructure is critically important to supporting business growth in Norfolk and Suffolk.

“We are pleased to see that Network Rail is proposing some very significant improvements to the network.

“Investment to support freight is crucial as well, and we welcome the investment on the Felixstowe to Nuneaton route.

“We will continue our lobbying for further improvements for the benefit of all rail users, which we will expect to see as part of the new Greater Anglia rail franchise.”



Police closed Felixstowe Road, Ipswich.

A man has been taken to hospital after the motorcycle he was riding collided with a van.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service called to Foxhall Road, Ipswich.

Firefighters were called to help a young child who got their head trapped between two bollards.

The accident has closed the road

A lorry driver became trapped in his vehicle after it overturned on the A1071 at Hintlesham this afternoon.

Andrew Shemming, daughter Annabelle and their dog Puzzle

She’s called Puzzle, and it is hoped the lovable Labrador will live up to her name by solving some Suffolk mysteries.

Martlesham police investigation centre

Four men arrested following the armed robbery of a Felixstowe bookmaker’s shop will not be prosecuted, police have said.

A familiar sight this year. Roadworks at the junction of Handford Road and Portman Road in Ipswich.

Temporary traffic lights were back at the junction of Portman Road and Handford Road again today . . . for the 17th time since November last year.

Police cordon off Rose Lane after the incident

A man and a woman are due to appear in court after being accused of grievous bodily harm on a young man in Ipswich town centre.

All services through Colchester are affected

All train services travelling through Colchester are facing severe disruption after the fire alarm was activated in a signal box.

Carolyn winning the Suffolk New College make-up competition in 2002.

From Hadleigh to Hollywood, Carolyn Roper has brushed shoulders with acclaimed actors, sporting legends and pop superstars.

Ipswich Hospital on Heath Road, Ipswich.

Ipswich’s hospital had its busy day of the year yesterday for admissions.

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