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Railwatch 084 - June 2000

East Anglia

By Peter Lawrence (peter.lawrence@paston.co.uk), Trevor Garrod and Nick Dibben (nick.dibben@railfuture.org.uk)

St Ives line debate The branch has presented its case for the reopening of the St Ives line at two special meetings organised by Cambridgeshire County Council for councillors and officers. We highlighted the benefits of being able to provide cross-Cambridge services as well as regional services if the line is extended to Huntingdon. A new factor is possible congestion at Ely. Proposals by train operators could see the number of passenger trains increase from nine per hour to around 20. Additionally there are plans for up to 30 freights each way per day to Felixstowe. A new Cambridge-Huntingdon-Peterborough route would provide increased capacity and offer an alternative route. Also at the meeting were RTI which proposes a busway on the route. The RTI consortium includes Railtrack and WAGN! The branch has questioned the busway plans especially how they will integrate with existing bus services and if they will actually offer faster journeys than present buses. The branch is planning a public meeting in Cambridge on 17 June to discuss these issues in more detail.

Campaign successThe branch has received a letter from Cambridgeshire council stating that many of our comments on the draft local transport plan will be included in the final document. Our comments were split into two sections: schemes that the council could do itself such as bus coordination, better signage and disabled access to stations; secondly a list of aspirations for new services as part of franchise replacement. The completed LTP is due to be issued in July

Stansted At the time of writing, Essex County Council has just accepted the Structure Plan inspector's recommendation of an up-to-date feasibility study of a Braintree-Stansted airport rail link. Colchester Borough Council has also come out in favour.

The East Suffolk Travellers' Association has just published results of its latest survey of local bus and train services. These show a welcome improvement in train cleanliness since ESTA's survey last year; and Anglia Railways on-train staff also come in for much praise for their helpfulness and courtesy; but there are still problems of late running, lack of advertised buffet facilities and some lack of information. These are issues which ESTA and RDS officers continue to raise with the operator.

Basingstoke here we come! Anglia Railways introduced its new London Crosslink service with the summer timetable. The core route is Chelmsford- Stratford-North London line-Basingstoke. Key interchange points served include Stratford (for Jubilee Line Extension and the Millenium Dome), West Hampstead (for underground and Thameslink services) and Feltham (for the dedicated frequent bus link to Heathrow airport. RDS was represented at the special preview in May.

Note: contact details (postal and email addresses, along with telephone numbers) in old editions of Railwatch out of date. Click CONTACT US for latest contact details.

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