New trains for all!

Abellio imageGreat news yesterday that the new rail franchise confirms Abellio Greater Anglia be responsible for delivering rail services in Suffolk and throughout East Anglia over the next nine years, I said in a press release: “Having a commitment to deliver both Ipswich in 60 and Norwich in 90 as part of the new franchise award is a significant achievement. Its inclusion is a testament to the patient, persistent campaigning and real team work, particularly from MPs Ben Gummer and Chloe Smith, Mark Pendlington and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, local councillors and members of the public”.

Like the Oscars there are so many people to thank but throughout the key messages of new rolling stock, the punchy Ipswich in 60 and Norwich in 90 campaign and the need to better link Ipswich and Cambridge, Cambridge to Norwich have all been well made and are reflected in the detail of the new franchise.

So now Abellio must can get on with ordering new trains and improving the journey times and their punctuality.  They must improve the connects to Lowestoft and in partnership improve services to Kings Lynn and make the stations nicer places to be and improve the car parking capacity so people can arrive at stations and park. Councils and the NALEP for our part must also delivery and help invest in sorting out the bottle neck of Ely and some of the single track sections that so hamper capacity.

Not everyone is pleased with Abellio winning the contact and a number of people have said its reward for failure over the past 4 years and for anyone who daily has to use the Norwich and Ipswich trains I can completely understand their frustration but to be very fair to Abellio until they were awarded this franchise of 9 years, beyond a little window dressing, how could they invest in new trains costing billions? Some of the problems on the lines, as we all know, are simply beyond their control and the rolling stock they inherited is so old.  I can remember when I first used to get the train from Stowmarket to London in the mid 80’s the rolling stock was not exactly new then and some of it is the same stock!

This is the beginning of a huge challenge for Abellio Greater Anglia.  Over the next nine years they need to make good on the promises they have made. They make some very clear commitments to speed up journey times and significantly improve on what customers currently experience, including introducing new trains. I know from conversations yesterday, we all will continue to work with and challenge Abellio Greater Anglia and Network Rail to ensure Suffolk’s residents see the improvement in services we all want and frankly for what we pay to travel, deserve.

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal anything I write is promoted by Kerry Buist on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Unit 8, Swan Lane Business Park, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7FN

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