Rail travel is on the increase

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THE number of people using rail stations across East Anglia has shot up, prompting calls for greater investment in services.

The figures from the Office of the Rail Regulator show that 469,500 people used Bury St Edmunds station in 2010/11 compared to 373,739 in 2007/08.

Peter Wakefield, chairman of pressure group Rail Future’s East Anglian branch, said: “The line through Bury St Edmunds in particular has seen heavy growth.” He said the figures lent weight to its campaign to increase an hourly service from Cambridge to Ipswich via Bury to half hourly, and to make a service which runs once every two hours from Ipswich to Peterborough via Bury, an hourly service.

Mr Wakefield said this would require track investment between Newmarket and Cambridge.

Meanwhile, Stowmarket saw footfall increase from 705,583 to 855,692 over the same period, while there were also increases in footfall at Needham Market, which went up from 43,937 to 67,056.

The figures at Elmswell, rose from 53,597 to 65,738, at Thurston from 38,387 to 49,060 and at Brandon from 50,2232 to 84,648 while Thetford saw footfall up to 242,756 from 212,576.