Great Eastern Main Line

After months of campaigning, involving support from thousands of rail passengers, businesses, local authorities, MPs and education leaders across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, the Great Eastern Main Line Report has been submitted to Government. 
 
Heralded as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” the report calls on the Chancellor to invest millions of pounds and bring a “massive vote of confidence to the region.” It details the key improvements needed to bring better, faster trains and deliver a journey time of “Norwich in 90 minutes.” And a robust economic case explaining why the improvements are vital to the region.
 
It also includes a letter signed by more than 100 of the most senior business and education leaders in the region, representing over 111,000 employees and students. Over 1600 rail passengers have also joined the online campaign.
 
The key highlights of the report include:
  • A call for £476million investment to improve infrastructure
  • Which will deliver up to £4.5bn wider economic benefits 
  • Unlocking an additional £1.3bn in capital investment along the route.
  • With journey time savings of £9m per year
It also asks Government for new rolling stock to be included in the new rail franchise tender to be announced in 2015.
 
The report identifies the Great Eastern Main Line as the “golden thread running through our economy”. It states: “Modern economies need high-quality rail infrastructure to support and sustain growth and to help businesses compete and win in global markets. The Great Eastern Main Line is no exception. We need the rail service to serve our ambitions not to stifle them.”
 
In a letter to the Chancellor accompanying the report, Mark Pendlington, chair of New Anglia LEP and Chloe Smith MP, both joint chairs of the Great Eastern Main Line Rail Taskforce make a plea on behalf of East Anglia:
 
“Your decision for this Autumn Statement is simple: We ask you to confirm the infrastructure improvements needed to unlock the economic potential of the region through faster more reliable services; and provide for new rolling stock on the Great Eastern Main Line for better journeys.
 
“Over the next decade our region will experience considerable housing, employment and economic growth leading to some of the fastest rates of passenger growth in the country. Our economy, built on the success of innovative and dynamic businesses is also growing and carries even more potential. 
 
“We could be the California of Europe, yet we have some of the oldest trains in Britain. Our rail service is over-crowded, the infrastructure not resilient to failures. It is as quick to go 225 miles over land and sea from London to Brussels as it is on the train to Norwich, over half the distance. We can’t go on like this.”
 
Peter Aldous commented: “It is very important and extremely good news that this report has received such overwhelming support from the business community in East Anglia.  This investment in rail infrastructure is key to unlocking the region’s full economic potential.  It is vital given the dynamism and potential of the East Anglian economy that the Great Eastern mainline is substantially upgraded.  The work and recommendations of the Taskforce set up by the Chancellor of the Exchequer is a crucial step to getting these improvements carried out.” 
 

Surgeries

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

Next Surgeries - 2018: 
Beccles, Saturday 14th April
Lowestoft, Thursday 31st May

 

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