Taskforce to speed up rail travel in East of England

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Media captionGeorge Osborne said faster train times to capital were a priority for East Anglia

A taskforce is being set up to find ways to speed up rail services to the East of England by as much as 25%.

Chancellor George Osborne MP said he wanted the journey time from Norwich to London to be cut to 90 minutes and Ipswich to London to 60 minutes.

At present, it takes about two hours from Norwich and about one hour and 10 minutes from Ipswich.

The taskforce will be made up of Department for Transport officials, Network Rail experts and local MPs.

The main line service goes through Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

'Efficient rail services'

Mr Osborne, who addressed the city's chamber of commerce, welcomed the "Norwich in Ninety" campaign by MPs, councils and business leaders, to speed up links to London.

The campaign aims to cut the journey time to London to 90 minutes.

Mr Osborne said: "East Anglia is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and is establishing itself as a world leader in science, technology and manufacturing. To support this growth we need to have modern, efficient rail services and improved connections.

"I am absolutely behind the region and that's why I've set up a taskforce to see how we can build on the excellent work by [local MPs] and set our sights on getting to 'Norwich in Ninety'."

Ruud Haket, managing director for Greater Anglia, said the firm welcomed the announcement .

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