Faster trains from Norwich promised
Dan GrimmerFaster trains have been promised to passengers on trains from Norwich to London, with rail bosses also committed to providing extra space on services to and from Cambridge.Dan Grimmer
Faster trains have been promised to passengers on trains from Norwich to London, with rail bosses also committed to providing extra space on services to and from Cambridge.
National Express East Anglia is readying its new timetable, due to start in December, and commuters have been promised a quicker service from Norwich to London in the mornings.
The 7.40am service from Norwich will get to London Liverpool Street in an hour and 45 minutes - calling at Diss and Ipswich - while a new service which departs for the capital before 7am will also be introduced.
A number of off-peak services are also due to get quicker, down from an hour and 55 minutes to an hour and 48 minutes, while an extra peak time service just after 5pm will be brought in for the journey back to Norwich from London.
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Peter Meades, spokesman for National Express East Anglia, added: 'We are also going to have an additional morning service to and from Great Yarmouth and an extra evening service too. We'll also have a later connection for Great Yarmouth for people travelling from London to Norwich.'
Mr Meades said the 'main driver' for the company was to put in extra seats from Ipswich to London, where demand is highest, but that led to benefits for travellers in Norfolk as a knock-on effect.
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The government decided last year not to extend the current deal with National Express to run trains in the region, but to create a new railway franchise for the region.
Simon Wright, Norwich South MP, said: 'Some of what's proposed here will certainly help, but we now need to see real vision for the long term future of our rail service and hopefully that will come through as we move nearer to the end of the current franchise.
'When the new franchise is awarded, it needs to be on terms that will see sustained investment in the Norwich to London service. We know that a better rail service will deliver billions of pounds of benefits to our region's economy.
'We need more capacity, and a more reliable service with newer trains. Crucially, we need shorter journey times between Norwich and London. It's really important that the franchise process starts to move, and that it reflects the need for a long term vision for our rail service.'
Business bosses and council chiefs have backed the Norwich in Ninety campaign, calling for the journey time between the city and the capital to be cut to an hour and a half.
And last month a study from the East of England Development Agency showed a better train service between Norwich and London could net an extra �3.7bn for businesses and commuters in East Anglia.
National Express East Anglia said the new timetables will soon be published on its website, while local authorities, MPs and passenger groups had been briefed on the changes.
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