Passengers in east Suffolk will have more say on how local rail services are run after 2 lines have been designated as community rail services, Rail Minister Baroness Kramer announced today (3 March 2015).
Designation of the lines between Ipswich and Felixstowe and Ipswich and Lowestoft will enable train companies to work more closely with the community rail partnership (CRP) to design services that meet local needs.
Rail Minister Baroness Kramer said:
I am delighted to announce the designation of the East Suffolk Lines as a community rail service. It is a very practical way of helping local groups to develop innovative and more cost effective rail services for their communities, through working closely with the East Suffolk Lines CRP.
It is important that smaller communities benefit from our huge rail investment programme, which will help build a stronger economy and a fairer society.
Jamie Burles, Managing Director for Abellio Greater Anglia, which runs services on the route, said:
We welcome the community rail designation of the East Suffolk Lines. Over the last few years, joint initiatives between Abellio Greater Anglia, Suffolk County Council and the East Suffolk Lines CRP have seen the introduction of an hourly service along the entire route. We’ve also delivered an ongoing programme of station improvements.
The formal designation of the lines will help us maintain this positive momentum and deliver further improvements to services and stations to benefit the customers and communities it serves. We will continue to play our full part in the ongoing future development of this important regional route, starting with the introduction of 2 additional Sunday services from May this year.
Aaron Taffera, Chairman East Suffolk Lines CRP said:
We’re very pleased that the East Suffolk Lines have gained community rail designation status. The East Suffolk Lines CRP has already played a valuable role in the development and promotion of this important route. Designation will provide more opportunities to build further partnerships, secure more funding for more projects and help the lines continue to thrive in the future.
To date, 19 lines with their services have been designated by the Department for Transport as Community Rail Lines. In addition there have been 18 community rail services which have been designated by the government.
Designation can allow extra flexibility with the way local services are run – including ticket concessions and access to additional grants for small projects.