Greater Anglia boosting train services to London as Covid restrictions ease

Greater Anglia serive from Cambridge and Stansted to Norwich face disruption. Picture: Stuart Anders

More Greater Anglia trains will be travelling between Norwich and London Liverpool Street from February 7 - Credit: Archant

Business bosses are looking forward to a boost when train services to the capital increase from next week.

Greater Anglia is adding more weekday services from next Monday in anticipation of more people travelling to work after Covid restrictions were lifted by the government.

These include half hourly intercity services between Norwich and London Liverpool Street for most of the day.

Former chairs of the Norwich Business Women's Network, Carole Slaughter and Jeanette Wheeler with chair Hazel Bowen.

Hazel Bowen, chairwoman of Norwich Business Women's Network (right) - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Hazel Bowen, chairwoman of Norwich Business Women's Network, said: "More trains will enable commuters to travel conveniently and this will increase custom for businesses that serve commuters, such as coffee shops, newsagents and convenience shops.

"Norwich-based businesses that compete for clients and contracts in the capital will also regain the ability to compete on a level playing field by having the choice to hold key meetings in person more easily.

"Prior to lockdown many London-based firms would travel to Norwich to present to professional service-users at conferences and meetings. These are restarting and this will only be made easier through increased train services.

"Not only does this bring spending to our region but it will also encourage local businesses to return to more in-person activities as this is normalised again.

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"There is an appetite to meet in-person again and increased travel services will help this.

"While online meetings have been a great alternative and should continue as an essential way of communicating, choice and variety is key to encouraging connectivity and collaboration within and across businesses."

Eric Kirk, who criticised First's handling of a broken down bus on Magdalen Street. Picture: SOPHIE

Eric Kirk, who runs PPFMM property management company - Credit: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Eric Kirk, who set up Norwich-based PPFMM property management company two years ago and has previously worked for the former Castle Mall shopping centre and Anglia Square, said regular train links were crucial for the city to attract visitors and promote its businesses.

"A lot of people are desperate to get back to normal. Norwich is a retail environment first and foremost. It provides a real mix for visitors," he said.

Mr Kirk added visitors to the city helped maintain "the breadth of shops" and any reduction in train services had an impact on that.

Official opening of Cambridge North Railway Station, Cambridge, UK by Secretary of State for Transpo

Official opening of Cambridge North Railway Station, Cambridge, UK by Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling. 07966805565 No unauthorised use. All rights reserved. Contact photographer before use. ©nickstrugnell - Credit: Nick Strugnell

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We’re pleased to be to welcoming customers back. We’re aiming to match the number of services we run to the number of passengers using them."