Proposals for new train timetable in 2021/2
As the independent voluntary body for local train and bus users, ESTA has been studying Greater Anglia’s proposals for the train service along the East Suffolk Line from December 2021.
There is a consultation period up to February 12 and any organisation or individual can see the proposals and comment on them via: www.greateranglia.co.uk.
On the positive side, the train operator plans to continue to run a train every hour between Lowestoft and Ipswich and calling at Melton and Woodbridge.
We welcome this while pressing for a couple of awkward gaps in both northbound and southbound trains to be reduced and the out-of-pattern afternoon trains restored to a regular pattern. We also call for some additional late evening services and improvements to certain connections at Ipswich.
What does cause us concern, however, is that there is no mention of through trains to and from London. When Greater Anglia won the franchise to run East Anglia services, they promised through trains between the East Suffolk Line and London Liverpool Street. Indeed, the bi-mode Stadler trains now providing our services were specifically ordered so that they could run on both electrified and non-electrified lines, running as diesels as far south as Ipswich and then as electrics from there to London.
Before the pandemic affected all public transport, usage of the East Suffolk Line was at its highest for decades, thanks especially to the introduction of a more frequent service. The next logical step is to extend some of the trains – four a day off-peak was being promised – to and from Colchester and London. This will create an even more attractive alternative to driving down the A12. ESTA has therefore made this point clearly to Greater Anglia.
Trevor Garrod, 15 Clapham Road South, Lowestoft NR32 1RQ / 01502 581721