Abellio Greater Anglia encourages passengers to support the Great Eastern Rail Campaign

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Abellio Greater Anglia is lending further support to the Great Eastern Rail Campaign tomorrow morning (Friday 17 October) as it joins up with colleagues from the New Anglia LEP to put special leaflets on every seat on every train departing Norwich from 5.30am to 9am urging passengers to sign up at newanglia.co.uk/gerailcampaign and register their support.

Thousands of passengers will be urged to sign up to the Great Eastern Rail Campaign for a better, faster rail service between Norwich, Ipswich, Chelmsford and London.  The campaign which is led by the New Anglia LEP, the region’s MPs, Abellio Greater Anglia and business leaders, is calling for greater investment in the Norwich to London line.

At the end of October the Great Eastern Rail Taskforce will be handing a report to Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, and Chancellor George Osborne outlining the strong economic and business case for investment. The report will be endorsed with the signatures of prominent business leaders and will include support from hundreds of other supporters who have signed up online. So far, a total of over 1000 businesses, universities and colleges have joined the campaign, representing over 85,000 employees and students, as well as other rail passengers and commuters. But with only days left to register every additional supporter is crucial.

Jamie Burles, Managing Director of Abellio Greater Anglia said: “The impending submission of the Great Eastern Rail Taskforce’s report provides a crucial opportunity to influence investment and upgrades in services on the Great Eastern Main Line over the next decade.  It is important that we make the strongest case possible to government, to ensure we secure the necessary support for major improvements to both infrastructure and rolling stock. The significant re-fresh we will deliver for the intercity trains on the Norwich to London route in the next two years is an important step forward, but we all want to see even more significant upgrades in the years ahead. We urge everyone to support this campaign to help build the case for major enhancements and ensure our region and railways receive the investment they deserve.”

Mark Pendlington, Chairman of New Anglia LEP and co-chair of the Great Eastern Rail Taskforce said: “This is a big call to action and our biggest opportunity to make our voice heard loud and clear in Westminster. We have a momentum of fantastic support so I urge passengers today to sign-up to the campaign for a better and faster rail service. Businesses, visitors and commuters can make their support count as we prepare to take our case to the Chancellor and Transport Secretary.”

The purpose of the report is to outline to Government, the key rail investment requirements to improve the GEML in time for the new long-term tender for rail franchises announced in 2015. If Government agrees to the additional investment the new provider will have the responsibility to implement the improvements and deliver faster and better trains meaning passengers can travel to Norwich in 90 minutes, Ipswich in 60 and Colchester 40 minutes. Once the report has been handed in, the work of the Great Eastern Rail Campaign will continue in ensuring that the recommendations of the report are funded and delivered.