Tag Archives: Greater Anglia

Vanished content! apology

Two blog posts I have made for October have mysteriously vanished from the blog. These are,

Not on our trains! Greater Anglia’s commitment to cycling?   which links to Greater Anglia’s draft Cycle strategy and  details Greater Anglia’s stated intentions to move from carrying cycles on Suffolk trains.  This has attracted a lot of attention from  cyclists who were not aware of Greater Anglia’s intentions.

What’s been happening in SCC: September 2013

I have no intention that any gremlin should prevent people from reaching information they need to know. I do not know whether these blog posts have gone for good – but in the meantime, you can reach reconstituted versions of the missing pages by clicking the titles above.

My apologies for this!

Cycles are the future for Suffolk and Suffolk railways!

My mobile 479Suffolk’s  Annual Public Health report  2013  concerns itself with travel and health and recommends a wholesale transfer of many journeys or parts of journeys to the bicycle. Hurrah, hurrah indeed! In the case of your county councillor for Woodbridge, they are preaching to the converted.

Sadly there are other councillors who are converted in theory but not at all in practice. “I will not apologise that it’s not possible if I drive my kids to school…” “I don’t have cycle legs…” ” I’m scared on the road.. ”  At the full council debate on the subject last week, I heard a stream of excuses, exculpations and explanations from seemingly overly entitled individuals who are compensated by YOU the Council Tax payer at 44p per mile to remain in their cars at no cost to themselves –  and so don’t have to make the same choices as others they represent.

 I wholly support the aspiration, but must point out that while there is such a gap between what  councillors think is a good idea for others and what they are prepared to do themselves, we are not going to progress as far or fast as we would like.

On what appeared to be a more positive note, it looked for a while as if the train services are becoming more proactive on the subject of cycles.

Although I have had cause to raise  issues with Greater Anglia over recent months   – particularly in reference to ticket machines in general and the Woodbridge station ticket machine in particular – I was  happy to pass on that the company  has formally launched its new cycle strategy with a consultation.  It is seeking users’ and stakeholders’ views on its  policies and plans for cycle facilities. We are told that “amongst the proposals outlined  is the creation of a Greater Anglia Cycle Forum, which will meet twice a year to provide continued customer feedback and help prioritise further upgrades.”

However, if you look at their consultation in detail it seems primarily  to want to take your bike off the trains and ask you to rent their Bike and Go bike instead. See my blog piece Not on our trains? Greater Anglia’s cycle ‘consultation’

So while  there are fewer and fewer attempts at co-ordinated provision between rural bus and train services, it is only semi-nice to see that the Dutch-owned company is  improving green transport in such a limited way. I suspect we will be waiting a long long time before they introduce ‘Boris bikes’ along the East Suffolk line, where non-existent bus services and very limited carriage capacity continue to make a mockery of Suffolk County Council’s ‘greenest county’  aspirations.

And in the interim, the thought that the few bikes there is room for  might be banned does nothing to cheer up the many passengers who commute this way.

Details of the consultation  can be found on the Greater Anglia website ;  the company wants you to respond by 1 November. Please do!

Woodbridge Station Ticket machine – update

Good news!

Having  written to, and then blogged about, and then tweeted Greater Anglia about the mystery of the missing machine , the  Greater Anglia Partnerships Manager Geraint Hughes emails  me to tell me

“Just to confirm that the Woodbridge ticket machine is due to be installed  and commissioned within the next 2 weeks.”

Lobbying works .

Addendum:  For those interested, the EADT coverage of the machine’s arrival is here

East Suffolk Line – all change at last

Longterm champions of sustainable travel:                      Suffolk Coastal District/Woodbridge Town Councillor Diana Ball and Suffolk County Councillor Caroline Page board the first hourly East Suffolk Line train from Lowestoft as it reaches Woodbridge.


Today is the first day of the hourly rail service along the East Suffolk line – ensuring regular reliable rail travel between Ipswich and Lowestoft. This will make such a difference!
Now what we need is to have a fully integrated bus service to meet it. Oh, and decent provision for bicycles – particularly when the rail service is replaced by buses

Want to change trains? Speak now or forever hold your peace

Do you want our trains to run better? Do you want our trains to run differently? Do you want our trains to run to different priorities?  Now is the time to make your voice heard!

OK, If you don’t speak now, you don’t really need to hold your peace forever – but you won’t get a hearing till 2029.

Why? The Government will shortly be awarding the new franchise for the Greater Anglia services to run for 15 years from 2014 – and this means that Suffolk County Council will be making recommendations to Government  very soon as to what should be included in the franchise.

This is THE one opportunity for people in Suffolk to influence the Government before it draws up the contract so that the needs of Suffolk rail users are taken properly into account. We won’t have another chance until 2029

Why delay? Tell ’em today!  via this link