The North Norfolk Labour Party used a meeting at Labour Party conference to renew pressure on the train company Greater Anglia to get them to bring later trains to North Norfolk.
Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for North Norfolk Denise Burke and party press officer Jono Read met with Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs, and Jamie Burles, Managing Director, to talk through their wishlist for the Bittern Line.
The party launched a campaign earlier this year for midnight trains from Norwich station to towns like North Walsham, Cromer, and Sheringham. A petition was backed by hundreds of North Norfolk residents who said that the last train home was too early and also needed to be more frequent.
Greater Anglia responded to feedback from number of usergroups by increasing frequency on Sundays and putting in place a train twenty minutes later on Friday and Saturday the nights which it claimed would allow those returning from London to connect with a later train. But the campaigners in the Labour Party said this was not enough and called on them to go further.
Following positive discussions with the firm the party is planning to write to the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, Mary Creagh, to consider feeding the idea into a future franchise should Labour get elected in 2015.
Denise Burke, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for North Norfolk, said:
“We had a very good discussion about the future of train links between North Norfolk and Norwich. We feel there are great benefits to the North Norfolk and Norwich economy by having later trains on the Bittern Line, and the strength of the campaign has shown so far that many rail users would use a later train from Norwich station.
Greater Anglia appeared understanding of the case we made and did not dismiss it, but there are a number of hoops we need to go through to make it possible. That includes some frank conversations between the train company, the Department for Transport, and Network Rail and getting them to work together on this.”