Bid to boost numbers using rail line

FRESH efforts are being made to promote the use of the Felixstowe to Ipswich rail line.

FRESH efforts are being made to promote the use of the Felixstowe to Ipswich rail line.

Last year it was revealed the number of passengers using the line each year had risen to more than 240,000 with people keen to avoid car parking charges and congestion in the county town.

Year on year there has been an 11 per cent increase in passengers but National Express' 'one' railway, Passenger Focus and the Felixstowe East Suffolk Travellers' Association (ESTA) believe even more people should be using the hourly service.

They have set up a partnership to raise awareness of the 12-mile rail link.

Representatives of all three organisations are delivering leaflets highlighting the service to homes in the area surrounding Felixstowe station - with the intention to leaflet all domestic properties within ten to 15 minutes' walking distance of the station.

The leaflet includes a timetable for the service, fare information, and highlights the average journey time of only 25 minutes.

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Guy Dangerfield, passenger link manager for independent rail consumer watchdog Passenger Focus said: “Passenger Focus is pleased to be working with 'one' railway and passenger representatives at ESTA to boost awareness of the train service between Felixstowe and Ipswich.

“Effective partnership working between the rail industry and local stakeholders is key to the future success of community rail lines like the Felixstowe branch.”

Clive Morris, rural business director for 'one' railway, said the project would raise the profile of the line.

“The commitment and enthusiasm of Passenger Focus and ESTA is a wonderful example of the co-operation which exists between local communities, train operators and rail users,” he said. “Such dedication is crucial for the future of community rail lines.”

ESTA, which recently carried out a similar leaflet project to promote the rail link and buses in the twin Trimley villages, is thrilled with the project.

It said the line is well used by commuters, football fans when Ipswich are playing at home, people visiting Ipswich for leisure and nightlife, and seaside day-trippers, but could be used by many more.

What stops you using the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail service? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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