Seven-up for Norwich to Cambridge rail service
National Express East Anglia (NXEA) has revealed that the Norwich to Cambridge train service is continuing to go from strength to strength as the popular direct link between two of the major centres in East Anglia celebrates its seventh birthday. Over 800,000 journeys are now being made on the route each year which has seen consistent growth since the service launch in 2002 and increases in passenger journeys of over 70 per cent in the last 5 years.
The rail link was launched 7 years ago following a successful campaign to restore a regular direct train service between the two cities amid strong support from county councils, MPs, rail user groups, and the business community who recognised the need for improved direct services, avoiding the need to change trains at Ely. Utilising new, fast and comfortable Class 170 diesel trains the service was an instant hit, encouraging additional journeys by train and offering an excellent alternative for road users on the A11. There are 17 trains each way (34 trains in total) on Mondays to Saturdays, plus 10 trains each way (20 in total) on Sundays.
The service has attracted users with a variety of needs. Daily commuting from towns such as Wymondham, Attleborough and Thetford has increased and students travelling between the universities in Cambridge and the UEA in Norwich, as well as business users and leisure travellers continue to benefit from the hourly services.
Day Leisure fares between Norwich and Cambridge are £13 return for adults or £27 for a three day pass, and £2 each for up to four accompanied children with both tickets. A range of other fares including season tickets are also available.
NXEA is now looking to the future as consultations have been taking place with a view to increase seating capacity on the Norwich to Cambridge line as part of the company’s wider plans to deliver more seats and increased capacity on many of its routes from December 2010.
Andrew Goodrum Customer Services Director for National Express East Anglia said:
“It is really encouraging that passenger numbers on the Norwich to Cambridge service continue to increase. It is difficult to imagine that seven years ago a dedicated service between Norwich and Cambridge did not exist. Now the service is a vital part of the East Anglian rail network, making commuting from towns such as Wymondham, Attleborough or Thetford, to Cambridge or Norwich, an attractive and feasible option. The service has proved itself to be crucial to the local economy and for the quality of life of those who live in the area.”