The Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce has sought, and been given, reassurance that the ambition to achieve passengers services from London to Norwich in 90 minutes and Ipswich in 60 minutes will be met on schedule.
The reassurance was given following rumours in one national newspaper that delivery of the faster train service on the Great Eastern Main Line was in jeopardy. In a statement, Great Eastern Main Line Taskforce Chair, Priti Patel MP said:
“Norwich in 90 is a commitment of the new Greater Anglia franchise, with four trains a day on weekdays (two each way) scheduled to be delivered by Greater Anglia by Summer 2019, as its new trains are introduced. The GEML Taskforce remains focused on pushing for the funding and delivery of the infrastructure improvements which will enable these quicker journey times to be achieved more regularly, such as the doubling of Trowse Swing bridge and Haughley Junction, more passing loops south of Colchester and digital signalling at the southern end of the Great Eastern Main Line.
“Further underlining this focus on improvements, the Taskforce has submitted a letter to the Office of the Rail Regulator supporting Network Rail’s request for £2.5billion for the railway in the Anglia region during Control Period 6 (2019-2024). This funding would allow for important infrastructure improvements, which will help Greater Anglia’s new trains and timetables to operate reliably when they are introduced over the next two years.
“It includes significant operational, maintenance and renewal plans, such as refurbishing nearly a quarter of the track on the route and completing renewals of overhead line equipment on the Great Eastern Main Line. If the request is successful, funding would also be made available for performance improvements and new traffic management technologies.”
“The Taskforce and I have urged the Government, Network Rail and Greater Anglia to continue to work together to ensure that all commitments to deliver infrastructure improvements are met and completed within the original timeframe. The Taskforce will continue to hold all three to account and will continue to make the case for greater investment in the line to improve services for passengers.”