Felixstowe: Investigation needed into rail line passenger use

COMMUNITY leaders say there must be a full investigation before any decision is taken to axe passenger trains on the Felixstowe-Ipswich line.

The Port of Felixstowe is calling for some under-used off-peak services to be replaced with a quality express bus service to allow more freight trains to use the track and take cargo off the roads.

Watchdog group Felixstowe Travel Watch believes the idea is fraught with problems – and its firm view is that an hourly train service should continue.

Town councillors though say it’s too early to give views on the idea, and want to see extensive research into the claims that some services are not well-used and could be removed.

Andy Smith, chairman of the plans committee, said: “I don’t think this is an issue we can instantly react to in terms of no, no, no, or yes, yes, yes.

“If this is to go any further, we need a proper evaluation so that we don’t jump to any conclusions.

“There are lots of issues to assess, including figures for use of the services, times of trains we are looking at, safeguards there might be for those who need passenger services, and so on.

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“We do know that the Port of Felixstowe is looking very hard at its operations with the opening of the London Gateway port expected soon.”

Port of Felixstowe chief executive officer David Gledhill said: “We hope that all interested parties will come together over the next few months to have a sensible debate about how we can, collectively, make the best use of this important asset.”

? Should passenger trains be removed to add extra freight services? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or email starletters@archant.co.uk