Rail passengers in the region are set to benefit from more frequent services as operator Abellio Greater Anglia launches its new summer timetable on 15 May.
Additional weekend train services on Saturdays and Sundays on the Norwich to London, Norwich to Great Yarmouth / Lowestoft, and Ipswich to Felixstowe / Lowestoft / Peterborough routes feature in the 2016 summer timetable, which commences on Sunday 15 May.
One of the benefits agreed with the Department for Transport as part of the operator’s existing franchise is to improve the frequency of services between Norwich and London, Norwich and Lowestoft and Ipswich and Lowestoft on summer Sundays. These enhancements provide more journey opportunities for rail passengers, as well as helping to boost economic activity through the additional journeys that will be generated.
From 15 May, extra morning and afternoon services will operate in each direction between Norwich and London improving frequency at busy times, through an additional 08.20 and 15.20 Norwich to London service and 11.00 and 18.00 London to Norwich service. These extra trains will operate on Sundays until 11 September.
An hourly summer Sunday service between Norwich and Lowestoft (in each direction) will also be introduced, doubling the service from the normal two-hourly frequency, with the extra trains running until Sunday 11 September. The extra trains (in addition to the existing two-hourly service) will depart Norwich at: 08.05, 10.05, 12.05, 14.05, 16.05, 18.05 and 20.05. And from Lowestoft at: 08.56, 10.56, 12.56, 14.56, 16.56, 18.56 and 20.56.
In addition to these new Sunday services, the traditional extra summer Saturday services will operate between Norwich and Great Yarmouth on Saturdays from 15 May until 10 September inclusive. The extra trains (in addition to the scheduled hourly Saturday service) will depart Norwich at: 09.06, 09.55, 10.25, 11.20, 12.18, 13.18, 14.18 and 15.18. And from Great Yarmouth at: 09.47, 10.42, 11.13, 11.55, 12.55, 13.55, 14.55 and 15.55.
Additional services between Great Yarmouth and Norwich will also operate on Mondays and Fridays only between 22nd July and 9th September, departing Norwich at 09.06, 10.25, 13.18 and 14.25 and Great Yarmouth at 09.52, 11.13, 13.52 and 15.42, to cater for these key “changeover” days at the resort as tourists arrive and depart.
Other extra summer services include an additional Sunday service between Ipswich and Felixstowe and Ipswich and Peterborough from 15 May until 11 September. These extra trains will depart Ipswich for Peterborough at 07.55 and Felixstowe at 09.55. An extra service will depart Peterborough for Ipswich at 09.50 and Felixstowe for Ipswich at 10.25. All other Sunday services on the Ipswich to Felixstowe / Peterborough routes will run as per the existing Sunday timetable.
Andrew Goodrum, Customer Service Director, Abellio Greater Anglia said: “One of the key commitments in our current franchise agreement was to improve the frequency of Sunday services between Norwich and London and also between Norwich and Lowestoft, and Ipswich and Lowestoft. We’re pleased to provide these additional services, offering more frequent journey opportunities for our customers, and helping to provide an economic boost to the region.”
Pete Waters, Executive Director, Visit East Anglia said: “These additions to the timetable are very welcome from a tourism perspective, making it more convenient to visit some of our stunning seaside resorts as well as Ipswich and Norwich.
“Norfolk and Suffolk have already benefited from a rise in day visitors in the past couple of years and initiatives like this can only help further grow those numbers. Better still, why not make a weekend of it!”