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Norwich and Norfolk MPs launch blueprint for improvements to East Anglian train services

PUBLISHED: 10:06 02 July 2012

Launching the rail manifesto 'Once in a Generation' at Norwich station. MPs Chloe Smith and Norman Lamb with Graham Plant.
Photo: Bill Smith

Launching the rail manifesto 'Once in a Generation' at Norwich station. MPs Chloe Smith and Norman Lamb with Graham Plant. Photo: Bill Smith

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An alliance of MPs, business leaders, local authorities, local enterprise partnerships and rail groups met at Norwich Train Station this morning, before heading off to London to launch a blueprint to improve East Anglia’s rail network.

Norwich north MP Chloe Smith, Norwich south MP Simon Wright, mid Norfolk MP George Freeman and north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, were joined by Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs for rail operator Greater Anglia, to catch the train to London to call for East Anglia to get more investment, an improved infrastructure and new trains.

The blueprint, called Once in a Generation - a Rail Prospectus for East Anglia, is a collaborative document and puts forward the case for a programme of improvements between now and 2032, which aims to help create thousands of jobs and unlock billions of pounds of investment.

It claims the economic performance of Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk is being held back by inadequate infrastructure and out of date trains.

It argues that East Anglia’s leadership in technology and innovation must be supported by improved rail services.

Ms Smith said: “This prospectus represent a one in a generation opportunity to get improvements on our rail service.

“We have got a four county alliance working together here, it is really important to stress that this benefits all four of those areas, by really unlocking our economy.

“We hope that the kind of improvements we are asking for, more reliability, shorter journey times, better quality carriage stock, infrastructure improvements, will benefit all passengers along those lines, and really unlock what we can do.

“We are hoping today to get heard on the kind of investments that we would like to see over the next 20 years.”

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