Call to include trams in rail expansion

CALLS have been made to turn part of one of Suffolk's railway lines into a tram route, with extra stations and a service frequency of every ten minutes.

CALLS have been made to turn part of one of Suffolk's railway lines into a tram route, with extra stations and a service frequency of every ten minutes.

The Ipswich Society wants “serious thought” given to its proposal of electrifying the branch line to Felixstowe and to increase dramatically the number of passenger trains from the current one an hour.

Currently, the only intermediate stations on the route are at Westerfield, Ipswich Derby Road, and Trimley, with a disused stop Orwell near Nacton village.

However the Society believes extra stops could be opened at Sproughton Road, Norwich Road, Warren Heath and at the two proposed housing development sites in Ipswich - St Clement's Hospital and the northern fringe.

Although most of the route is single track, the Port of Felixstowe is to finance the construction of a second parallel line between Warren Heath and Trimley, although that depends on the result of a public inquiry into the project.

The port-sponsored improvements to the line are first and foremost aimed at increasing the number of freight trains on the route from Felixstowe to Nuneaton, which would remove the number of lorries using the A12 from London and the A14 from Warwickshire to Felixstowe.

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Ipswich Society says its tram plans would reduce pressure on the roads as housing developments swell the number of commuters.

Mike Cook, the Society's planning expert said: “Fast, rapidly accelerating tram-like vehicles would be used to provide brief stop times.

“Electric trains would make a substantial difference to the quality of life for line-side residents by reducing noise pollution.

“Though such a scheme may appear fanciful now, it is an obvious solution for 20 years hence.”

n. Do you think railway lines should be turned into tramlines? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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