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Downham summit to discuss ‘worst’ trains

A rail summit will be held today in Downham to discuss what on earth can be done to improve the mainline Lynn line.

It comes in a week when its operator, Great Northern, is revealed in a report as the most hated operator by passengers.

A nationwide survey found that nearly a third of its passengers were dissatisfied with its services - the highest of all 25 rail operators.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss will be at the meeting today with her North West Norfolk Conservative counterpart Sir Henry Bellingham.

Downham Market Rail Station. (6914458)
Downham Market Rail Station. (6914458)

She will be quizzing Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) on the delivery of promised eight-car trains, ongoing concerns about delays, overcrowding and cancellations on the rail route and the upgrade of Ely North rail junction.

Also present will be Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority Mayor James Palmer and West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long.

Ms Truss said ‘‘I am keen to see progress on the delivery of the eight-car trains on the Fenline. The overcrowding is happening far too regularly, leading to considerable frustration amongst rail passengers.

“In January the Transport Secretary said that work was well under way with a funding announcement due this month – however the message I want to make to both Network Rail and the Department for Transport is this upgrade is an absolute priority for West Norfolk and I want to see rapid progress. East Anglia is a vibrant and ambitious region, supporting fabulous businesses with a thriving local economy – we need a rail service that can deliver an efficient service, one that accommodates the needs of the travelling public.

“This must not be railroaded by delays, cancellations or timetabling chaos, and this is what I will be pressing Network Rail and GTR on.’’

Sir Henry said : “The overcrowding between Cambridge and King’s Lynn has now got to the stage where it has become a real drag on inward investment – as well as making the journeys of many members of the public quite unacceptably unpleasant. There is obviously an immediate solution and I am looking to Network Rail and GTR to really grip the situation.”

Sir Henry Bellingham (6914270)
Sir Henry Bellingham (6914270)

Mr Long said: “I have long wanted to see improvements in the frequency and capacity of the service to and from King’s Lynn. I welcome the work that is being done to help deliver a service that will encourage rather than inhibit growth in the area.”


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