East Anglia Rail Franchise: Peter Aldous highlights need for investment in east Suffolk line

16th December 2015

Peter Aldous highlights need for investment in the east Suffolk line in terms of through-trains to Liverpool Street, faster service and investment in stations, which would play a significant role in bringing economic growth to east Suffolk.

Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con): I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this debate. She is giving us a great history going around the various branch lines in East Anglia. Does she agree that if investment is made in the east Suffolk line in terms of through-trains to Liverpool Street, faster service and investment in stations, that can play a significant role in bringing economic growth to east Suffolk?

Jo Churchill: I could not agree more. The beauty of delivering this tender well is that it can bring benefits across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex and benefit all our constituents, who, frankly, do not care whose constituency they are travelling through; they just care about getting where they want to go on time and in a way that is easy to access.

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Peter Aldous: Does my hon. Friend agree that we need to avoid a repetition of the situation that arose in Lowestoft last Saturday, when people could not even get on the trains? It was a day of high demand, with people going to a premier league football match between Norwich and Everton, and also going shopping in Norwich, but they could not even get on the trains.

Jo Churchill: Absolutely. That point would probably also be supported by my right hon. Friend the Member for West Suffolk, who has called for special trains to Newmarket on race days. We have a centre of excellence for the racing industry in Newmarket, but it cannot optimise what it could do for the country because we cannot get people there smartly enough.

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Peter Aldous: The Minister is setting out her case well. As well as linkage to airports, in such a rural area we also need linkage to public transport and buses.

Claire Perry: My hon. Friend makes a good point about integrating the transport system so that it works for people who might take a bus or drive a car, and who need a car parking space before they get on the train. We must assume that transport plays that role.

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Peter holds regular surgeries at various locations in the constituency. Please call 01502 586568 to make an appointment.

 

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