Passengers to have their say on rail

IPSWICH: Frustrated rail passengers have their chance to get their views across to rail bosses at a special meeting hosted by MP Ben Gummer later this month.

Mr Gummer is holding the meeting at the St Nicholas Centre in the heart of the town between noon and 2pm on Saturday, January 21.

Network Rail route manager Dave Ward will be on hand to answer questions as will senior officials from current rail operating company National Express East Anglia and new operator Abellio, which is due to take over rail services in the region next month.

Mr Gummer said: “Time and time again I hear from regular rail users in Ipswich their frustration at not being able to talk to Network Rail, who are responsible for many of the delays on the line.

“I have been forceful in putting these issues to Sir David Higgins, the chief executive of Network Rail, but I wanted to ensure that Network Rail faced my constituents themselves.

“Network Rail has some good plans to do better and it should have an opportunity to explain these to commuters.

“But it is also important that it takes responsibility when it lets down passengers and listens to their frustrations.

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“I hope that this meeting will go some way towards starting a true dialogue between commuters and the companies that run their rail service.”

Frustrations with the rail service in East Anglia prompted the four regional daily papers covering the region – including The Evening Star – to launch a campaign to improve services.

This was backed by the region’s MPs – all those from Suffolk and Norfolk linked up to write an open letter demanding better rail services between East Anglia and the capital.

And last month Mr Gummer and Norwich North MP and government minister Chloe Smith held a rail summit at Westminster to press the case for improved rail services.

Anyone hoping to attend the meeting is asked to contact e-mail Mr Gummer’s office at ben@bengummer.com so organisers know how many people to expect.

What can be done to improve the rail service in the county? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk