Greater Anglia trains to make more calls at Kennett railway station following talks with councillors and councils

Trains running between Ipswich and Cambridge are to make more stops at a small rural station near Newmarket following calls by county and district councillors.

A Greater Anglia train at Kennett railway station. (Picture: Greater Anglia)

The weekdays 08.19 Ipswich to Cambridge service and the 15.47 Cambridge to Ipswich service will now call at Kennett from May 21.

That means all Ipswich to Cambridge weekday departures between 05.10 and 09.21 inclusive now serve Kennett, as will all Cambridge to Ipswich weekday departures from 14.47 to 18.47 inclusive.

The equivalent Saturday services will also call at Kennett.

The move comes after discussions between Greater Anglia, councillors Roger Dicker, Susan Glossop and Lance Stanbury, and officers from Suffolk County Council and West Suffolk Council.

Councillor Glossop is Conservative member for Risby on West Suffolk Council where she is Portfolio Holder for Growth.

Councillor Stanbury is Conservative member for Mildenhall on Suffolk County Council and for The Rows on West Suffolk Council.

Councillor Dicker is the Independent ward member for Kentford & Moulton on West Suffolk Council.

Councillor Glossop said: “I am delighted Greater Anglia is plugging the problematic hole in the timetable for those in West Suffolk travelling by rail, with additional stops at Kennett station.

“This will greatly help families trying to get students to school in Cambridge, and those travelling to and from work.

“I thank fellow councillors for their efforts in representing West Suffolk residents’ interests on the working group with Greater Anglia and Suffolk County Council, and elsewhere. This is a great outcome.”

Councillor Stanbury said: “For the past six years I have been campaigning to get train services between Ipswich and Cambridge to stop every hour at our local railway station of Kennett, instead of every other hour, and I would like to thank Greater Anglia and the many other people who have campaigned for this too.

“Kennett is the nearest station for many growing towns and villages in the area, including Mildenhall, Red Lodge, Worlington, Barton Mills and The Rows, and these additional services will be a boost to our local economy by allowing more commuting so local residents can work further afield if they wish.

“These extra stops should save passengers the time, cost and inconvenience of driving all the way to Newmarket or even Ely, and this will also benefit the environment by helping move more people off the road and on to public transport.”

Councillor Richard Smith, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Transport Strategy and Waste, said: “Any enhancement to existing rail services is good news for passengers and I welcome this move by Greater Anglia.

“This will certainly help encourage more people out of their cars and on to public transport, and by doing so we play a part in reducing congestion and pollution.

“I congratulate everyone involved who has worked on bringing about this outcome.”

Councillor Dicker added that he was delighted the extra stops had been added as they would help local youngsters getting to school, while parish councils would welcome the news given recent housing developments in the area.

Greater Anglia trains said the improvements were a direct response to local feedback made via Suffolk County Council and West Suffolk Councils about additional stops for Kennett, given new housing being built in the area.

Although new, modern trains were now in service the infrastructure on which they run was constrained, which restricted timetables and the ability to add extra stops.

This includes a long, single-line section between Chippenham Junction to Cambridge, constrained junctions such as Coldham Lane, near Cambridge, and Haughley, near Stowmarket, and busy terminus stations at Cambridge and Ipswich.

Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia said: “We are pleased to be able to add in two additional peak stops for Kennett, which will be in place on Mondays to Saturdays, from the start of the May 2023 timetable onwards.

“They mean that all morning peak Ipswich to Cambridge services and all late afternoon/evening peak Cambridge to Ipswich services now serve Kennett, giving passengers a very good choice of options for their rail journeys.

“We always try to keep on improving services in line with local aspirations and we’re glad that even more customers will be able to take advantage of our new trains to travel between Kennett and Cambridge.”