Search

Norwich Weather

Heavy Rain

Heavy Rain

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 12°C

New blow for Norwich train passengers

PUBLISHED: 14:00 05 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:05 01 July 2010

New trains and carriages for passengers from Norwich seem further off than ever after the government announced a review of all plans to buy rolling stock.

New trains and carriages for passengers from Norwich seem further off than ever after the government announced a review of all plans to buy rolling stock.

There were no firm plans to bring in new carriages on lines from Norwich, but a campaign had been building to bring in new trains both to increase capacity and to speed up the route.

Now a new report from spending watchdog the National Audit Office says that carriages have got more expensive, while nationally passenger numbers have not risen as much as forecast. In response the government said that its all train-buying projects would be re-assessed.

Rail passengers from Norwich and Diss currently have to put up with reconditioned Mark 3 Intercity trains which are 25 to 30 years old. Extra carriages are being added in Suffolk and Essex over the next year, which will help to relieve pressure in the south of the route, and they are still on course to happen as planned.

The National Passenger Survey last year found that 69pc of passengers on the Norwich to London line were satisfied with how easy it was to find a seat, and a survey in January and February found that 13pc of passengers said it was “fairly difficult” or “very difficult” to get a seat.

Chris Starkie, for Shaping Norfolk's Future, which has been campaigning for better train services, said: “Potentially money which has been earmarked for rolling stock will not be spent on that any more. There is an overwhelming business case for new, more reliable trains on the Norwich to London line.

“Norwich has been left out in the past, and this gives us a chance to argue the case for Norwich.”

Norwich South MP Simon Wright said: “We have not had the best deal for our rail service to London and we need to see improvements. I want to see more trains and more capacity. Anyone using these trains can see that particularly at some times of day demand for seats is incredibly high.”

Transport secretary Philip Hammond said there would now be an “urgent reappraisal” of the whole carriage procurement programme.

Have you got a story about the train service? Contact Evening News reporter Sarah Brealey on 01603 772485 or email sarah.brealey@archant.co.uk.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Norwich Evening News

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists