Greater Anglia: Travellers demand rail station changes

A rail travellers' group is demanding improvements and more information at unstaffed stations in Suffolk.

The East Suffolk Travellers' Association carried out a station audit in the spring which revealed a wide variation in standards at stations.

Passenger numbers on the Ipswich-to-Lowestoft line have increased from 243,000 in 2011/12 to more than 270,000 in 2012/13, Greater Anglia said.

The firm said improvements were made as train frequency increased.

The travellers' association has sent a 20-page report to the train operator, Suffolk County Council and local MPs.

'Poor maps'

With its audit results, it wants to ensure all stations are easily accessible, convenient places to wait, welcoming and with good information.

A spokesman said: "Our report indicated that all station had timetable information, but sometimes only on one platform.

"All had onward travel maps, but these varied from very informative at Halesworth to very poor at Westerfield.

"More car parking space was needed at Melton, Wickham Market, Saxmundham and Darsham."

Concern was also expressed about the lack of information on fares at unstaffed stations.

'Further improve services'

Greater Anglia said it had introduced new ticket machines at some stations, a new bus link and inclusive ticketing between Halesworth and Southwold and car park improvements at Melton and Wickham Market.

Trains had also been refurbished, with a new transport interchange at Lowestoft station due to be complete next month.

"This will make it it easier for passengers arriving by bus, bicycle, car, taxi or on foot to travel to and from the station," a spokesperson said.

"The introduction of the new hourly timetable on the East Suffolk line is helping to transform the service on this important route.

"We will continue to develop plans to further improve train services and station facilities."

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