Waveney MP Peter Aldous today secured a commitment from Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond for Government funding to complete the Beccles Loop. Completion of the loop would restore the hourly train service between Lowestoft and Ipswich.
The current service operates two hourly with extensive sections of single track making it impossible to increase the frequency of trains.
Government have now committed £3 million of £4 million required, with Suffolk County Council being required to commit the extra £1 million.
Mr Aldous has been campaigning for the construction of the loop since being elected in May, writing to Network Rail and lobbying Transport Minister Theresa Villers and Secretary of State Philip Hammond.
Mr Aldous said:
“This is excellent news for the people of the Waveney area. I receive many letters from constituents asking me to do all I can to secure funding for the completion of the loop and I am very pleased that my work on their behalf has paid off.
Whilst the ideal would be to have the direct trains from Lowestoft to London retained, for which I will continue to campaign, the construction of the loop will make travelling to and from Lowestoft more convenient and should help attract businesses and more tourists to the area.”
Excerpt from Questions to the Secretary of State for Transport, 28th
Peter Aldous:The East Suffolk Line has a vital role to play in helping to bring jobs to the east Suffolk and Waveney area. Can the Minister confirm that that will be taken into account when investment decisions are made?
Mr Hammond:I think that my hon. Friend is referring to the so-called Beccles loop, a scheme currently being developed by Network Rail whose implementation is planned for December 2012. Network Rail is expecting a £1 million contribution from Suffolk county council. Subject to that, funds are available for the scheme, and it is expected to proceed on schedule.
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