September 17 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
A later last Bittern Line train service will start this year - five months earlier than expected.
From December, passengers will be able to catch an 11.05pm train from Norwich to Sheringham on Fridays and Saturdays, rather than the current 10.45pm service.
The move follows pressure on rail operator Abellio Greater Anglia from passengers and community leaders who felt north Norfolk was getting a raw deal in the evenings.
Many people complained of having to leave Norwich theatres and other night venues early, and of having to catch the 7.30pm train from London in order to connect with the last Bittern Line service.
The change means they can now catch the 9pm London service on Fridays, and the 8.30pm service on Saturdays.
Greater Anglia says the move has been made possible because Network Rail, which maintains the lines, has agreed to adjust its overnight maintenance timetable.
Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs for Greater Anglia, said: “It will enable residents and visitors to enjoy more options for nights out in Norwich, thereby also supporting the local economy and local businesses.”
The improvement follows an earlier announcement that, from October, all-year-round hourly Sunday services are set to be launched on the Bittern Line.
Ted Gadsden, chairman of the Bittern Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP), said he welcomed both improvements.
Mr Gadsden added: “The Bittern Line continues to thrive and the combination of Abellio Greater Anglia, the CRP and the local community working together make a real impact on the quality of life for rural communities.”