Suffolk and Tyne Valley community rail proposed

Six-week consultation opens

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer announced on 25 July plans to designate community rail services in East Suffolk and the Tyne Valley.

The routes involved are between Ipswich and Felixstowe, Ipswich and Lowestoft and between Newcastle, Hexham and Carlisle.

Baroness Kramer said: ‘We are committed to putting passengers at the heart of the rail network.

‘By designating these services as community rail services, we will breathe new life into the local rail network and, by providing services that people want to use, will safeguard their future and help secure long-term growth in the local economies.’

19 rail lines around the country have been designated as community lines since 2005, along with a further 17 services since 2005. These include the Wherry Lines services between Norwich, Yarmouth and Lowestoft, which were designated in February 2007, and the Cumbrian Coast Line between Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness, designated in September 2009.

Although train companies continue to operate the services, they are supported by a Community Rail Partnership, made up of local councils, community groups and other volunteers, to decide how they should be run. The DfT says research has shown that for every £1 invested in a Community Rail Partnership, it can bring more than four times that in benefits.

A six week consultation on the latest proposals runs until midnight on 5 September.

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