Commenting upon today’s launch of the new Ipswich in 60 service, Tom stated:
“This is clearly very good news and a step in the right direction. I pay tribute to the hard work that has been put in by a number of MP’s in Suffolk over a number of years to make this a reality. Particularly the former MP for Ipswich Ben Gummer who was instrumental in securing both the Ipswich in 60 service and the new trains that will be introducing over the coming months.
“My main focus now will be on campaigning for a regular Ipswich in 60 that operates at peak times. This really would make a massive difference for Ipswich commuters. The aim should be to have an hourly Ipswich in 60 service.
“Having a reliable train service that can get between Ipswich and London in under an hour will make life far more convenient for commuters will also make the Town more attractive for increased jobs and investment.
“Clearly at this time the new Ipswich in 60 service doesn’t run as frequently as many of us would like. I can see how the 7pm service from London Liverpool Street to Ipswich could really benefit commuters coming back from work but appreciate that two services a day in each direction should only be seen as a starting point and something to build on.
“To get to the stage where there is the capacity on the rail network to support a frequent Ipswich in 60 service there need to be a number of significant interventions by the Government and Network Rail to improve our rail infrastructure. Frankly many of these interventions are overdue. Haughley junction, Ely north rail junction and the doubling of the line between Ely and Soham. These are the key three rail infrastructure challenges that need to be overcome to enable Ipswich to benefit from a frequent Ipswich in 60 service. A third track between Witham and Chelmsford would also make a difference.
” I was glad to be able to discuss these issues with the Rail Minister when he visited Ipswich train station a couple of months and to follow this up with a meeting with the Secretary of State for Transport a week later.
“In the next few weeks I will be meeting with the Strategic Director for Network Rail in the East of England to gain a greater understanding as to the interventions that are necessary to ensure a frequent Ipswich in 60 service. I look forward to receiving updates on where we are at regarding the key rail infrastructure challenges in the region that impact Ipswich.
“So on the whole the introduction of the Ipswich in 60 service is good news but it must be seen something to build on. Unless its frequent it won’t be the game changer for the Town we all want it to be.”