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East West Rail makes ‘powerful case’ for direct services from Ipswich and Norwich to Oxford

A direct rail link between Ipswich, Norwich and Oxford could unlock £17.5bn for the East Anglia community, according to a case for investment from the East West Rail Consortium (EWRC).

A new report publishing by the consortium outlines the benefits of new East West rail services, including the creation of 120,000 jobs and connecting high-value economies with fast rail links.

The group, consisting of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire County Councils as well as a host of other regional authorities, wants to see the enhanced operation of services between Ipswich and Cambridge –as well as Norwich and Cambridge with faster journey times and more services.

It said this would make the eastern section ‘central section ready’, and will be crucial to the successful implementation of a planned link between Cambridgeshire and Bedford.

Cllr Mark Shaw, chairman of the East West Rail Consortium, said: “East West Rail will transform the economy and boost sustainable travel options across a large swathe of the country.

“The Eastern Section is an integral part of the overall scheme and I’d like to congratulate my colleagues in the Consortium’s Eastern Section Group for producing what is an incredibly powerful case for investment.”

The consortium’s ‘Eastern Section Rail Prospectus’ calls for improved journey times and service frequencies from Ipswich and Norwich to Cambridge, and direct services to Oxford. It also calls for the line to allow for a direct freight link between Felixstowe and south west England.

Alexander Nicoll of Suffolk County Council and chair of the EWRC Eastern Section commented: “It is important that residents and businesses in Suffolk and Norfolk are able to benefit from a direct rail service between Cambridge and Oxford.

“This new rail link presents a significant opportunity for our counties to be more accessible to investors and to grow our economies. Improved rail connectivity will also help to reduce the number of road vehicles travelling to Cambridge and beyond, as well as provide an additional freight route from our region.

“East West Rail complements other rail schemes in Suffolk and Norfolk, for example better services to London and to the North via Peterborough.”


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