Felixstowe: Anger over port idea to cut passenger trains

RAIL campaigners are today calling for port chiefs to withdraw their proposals that some passenger services should be axed on the Felixstowe-Ipswich line to make way for more freight trains.

They claim cutting off-peak trains would mean, in summer and school holidays, hundreds of people per day would be unable to travel to the seaside.

County councillor Graham Newman said: “It is easy for the port to say ‘have a look at the line on a February or March lunch hour’, when most families are working and their children are in school, and say ‘it’s not being used’.

“But during every holiday period throughout the year, the line receives considerably more passenger patronage illustrating Felixstowe’s continuing attraction as a day trip of choice. They need to go back to the drawing board and find a solution that provides extra capacity without losing services we need.”

He feared if services were infrequent, they could be closed.

“We must not let that happen in a fuel-starved, environmentally more aware 21st century,” he said.

Felixstowe Travel Watch said it would be better to bring forward plans to dual the line.

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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.”