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Passenger support sought ahead of GEML investment report

Passengers have been encouraged to lend their support to the Great Eastern Rail Campaign to deliver a better, faster rail service between Norwich, Ipswich, Chelmsford and London ahead of a report being handed to the government.

At the end of October the Great Eastern Rail Taskforce will be handing a study to the 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 1,000 businesses, universities and colleges have joined the campaign, representing over 85,000 employees and students, as well as other rail passengers and commuters.

The main aim of the campaign is to deliver a faster and more reliable service; more seats and more carriages; a better quality travelling experience; and a significant investment in track infrastructure

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 (GEML) 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.”

In a push to further support for the Campaign, Abellio Greater Anglia and representatives from the New Anglia LEP put special leaflets on every seat on every train departing Norwich from 5.30am to 9am today urging passengers to sign up at and register their support.

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.

(Image copyright The Photo Exchange, used here under a Creative Commons licence)

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