New rail prospectus prioritises Marks Tey lift

Cllr Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for roads, transport and planning with Cllr Mark Bee, leader of the council with the Suffolk Rail Prospectus ANL-150325-122126001
Cllr Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for roads, transport and planning with Cllr Mark Bee, leader of the council with the Suffolk Rail Prospectus ANL-150325-122126001

Calls for improvements to Marks Tey train station have been recognised in a council document highlighting the key priorities for rail transport in the county.

The prospectus, which was released on Wednesday, highlights Marks Tey as being in desperate need of a new improved footbridge with lifts or an underpass to allow disabled passengers, cyclists or passengers with heavy bags to cross easily.

Currently, disabled passengers are forced to change at Colchester or make the trip to the opposite platform via a busy road.

In January, Sudbury resident Theo Bird led an online petition to improve access at Marks Tey and presented the campaign to bosses at Network Rail and the Department of Transport as part of separate consultations.

The petition, which received more than 500 signatures, was backed by Witham MP Priti Patel, who in the past had unsuccessfully applied for funding through the Access for All scheme to implement step-free access at the station.

Mr Bird said he was hopeful that, with the additional backing of the county council, Marks Tey station will be successful when funding becomes available later in the year through Baroness Kramer’s Access for All scheme.

Along with access improvements, the prospectus details additional long-term priorities for the Sudbury line to be delivered over the next 20 years, including a direct service to London.

According to the report, a direct service to the capital would open the town to further investment and encourage more tourism.

The report suggests discussing the proposal when capacity becomes available on the Great Eastern mainline.