Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Suffolk: Hourly service continues to boost passenger numbers

09:00 25 January 2014

Official opening of the newly extended track at Beccles Station enabling trains to pass and a new hourly service between Lowestoft and Ipswich.  Picture: Nick Butcher

Official opening of the newly extended track at Beccles Station enabling trains to pass and a new hourly service between Lowestoft and Ipswich. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

Passenger numbers have continued to increase significantly on the East Suffolk Line, a year after an hourly service of trains was introduced between Ipswich and Lowestoft.

There are now twice as many people using trains on the line as there were before 2008 after an 11.5% increase over the last year.

Hourly services were introduced to the line for the first time in most people’s memory in December 2012 following the completion of the Beccles loop which allows trains to pass each other.

More than 653,000 passenger journeys were made in 2013 on the line after the completion of the £4m scheme, which was jointly funded by Network Rail and Suffolk County Council.

Track and signalling works were also carried out, as part of a wider £21m project to re-signal the East Suffolk Line, to improve reliability and performance.

Other improvements on the line include:

New ticket vending machines at Woodbridge, Saxmundham and Beccles.

New bus links and through ticketing between Halesworth and Southwold.

Car park improvements at Melton and Wickham Market.

A refurbishment programme for the trains used on the line

Greater Anglia’s Jonathan Denby said: “We’re pleased to see that the new hourly service along the whole East Suffolk route has already been a great success.

“One year on and passenger numbers are up 11.5% year on year and over 60% on 2009/2010 – the last full year before the hourly service was introduced between Lowestoft and Saxmundham.

“We’re committed to making the Ipswich to Lowestoft route an even more successful route and an even more valuable asset.”

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said: “I am delighted that the figures show such an increase in passengers. It is clear that a regular timetable with hourly trains has benefited residents, commuters and tourists alike.

“The service has also improved links to Ipswich and London for Suffolk Coastal businesses, giving a boost to the whole area.”

2 comments

  • The only downside to this otherwise excellent improvement is that trains no longer stop at Westerfield. Or more accurately, they still stop but don't let anybody on or off. Which is ridiculous. Even for me, living in south-east Ipswich, Westerfield is by far the best station to get a train on this line - there are thousands of people even closer to it than I am.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Saturday, January 25, 2014

  • "Or more accurately, they still stop but don't let anybody on or off." You mean that the driver prevents passengers pressing the green "open the door" button? I agree that Westerfield is one of the best ways to get onto the rail network. If Westerfield had a decent car park it could potentially offer access to the rest of the local and national network for hundreds of Ipswich residents from Whitton, Castlehill, Crofts, Rushmere areas than the hassle of getting to the main Ipswich station.

    Report this comment

    Steve Blake

    Saturday, January 25, 2014

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

Aspiring rock-gods and up-and-coming shredders have pitted their axe-wielding skills to the test in a competition to find Ipswich’s top air guitar hero.

Five men have been jailed for a total of 112 years for conspiring to murder a man in Bury St Edmunds who was left for dead after being shot with a sawn-off shotgun.

Now 10 games into the season and Ipswich Town sit 13th in the table. Is that going to be the club’s level for the rest of the season?

Police in Ipswich are cracking down on anti-social behaviour in Christchurch Park, after reports of drug users and heavy drinkers in the area.

The first layers of paint concealing one of Carl Giles’s most important pieces of artwork have been scraped away – but it is still too early to tell if it can be salvaged.

A project that has seen an unkempt woodland transformed into an outdoor learning space has been awarded a £6,000 grant.

Police have launched a search for a missing Suffolk schoolgirl.

Today schools, care homes, mum’s groups and office all over Suffolk have been brewing up for Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

A Hadleigh father-to-be who may never walk again after a freak rugby tackle admits he is “flabbergasted” after receiving offers of a free £8,000 electric wheelchair and his household bills being paid for six months.

We’ve now reached the third instalment of our A-Z of Ipswich looking at the history of our most distinguished residents and iconic buildings.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24