RAIL operator Greater Anglia has set out its key rail infrastructure priorities for the next ten years, including plans for changes between Witham and Colchester.

Managing director Jamie Burles is writing to stakeholders across the region, including local MPs, council’s and rail user groups, to seek their support in making the case for investment to the government.

Several schemes are listed for improvements to the Great Eastern mainline, including introducing track loops between Colchester and Witham, signalling upgrades and increasing capacity at London Liverpool Street.

David Bigg, chairman of the Witham and Braintree Rail Users Association, said the group were writing letters backed up by their own statistics in support the proposals.

He said: “The top priority for us is to get signalling done on the link between Chelmsford and Liverpool Street.

“Around a third of the serious delays every year are caused by signalling problems.

“There is no point them replacing the track if the signals are failing.

“The second issue is that of increasing capacity.

“The line is full and even the casual observer can see that."

Mr Bigg said the group were continuing to push for the Cressing Loop, which would put more capacity into the Braintree line and help take pressure off the district's strained road network.

He continued: “The loop seems to have cross party support so I am not sure what the hold-up is.

“The sooner they get started on it the sooner we can use it.

“We have also asked Greater Anglia to give us more staff at stations and station upgrades but a lot of these kinds of things should have been in the franchise agreement."

Greater Anglia has been working with Network Rail to prioritise, and start making the case for 10 key projects including the loop.

Jamie Burles, managing director for Greater Anglia, said: "The collective effort of ourselves and stakeholders across the region helped secure a fantastic outcome to the franchise renewal process with the biggest investment ever agreed for trains in East Anglia.

"We now need to maintain that sustained, collaborative, constructive approach to secure a similarly positive outcome for rail infrastructure investment over the next 10 years and thereby enable Network "Rail to upgrade the network and maximise the benefits for customers, communities and wider stakeholders across the region.

"We will be playing our part in trying to achieve these important rail upgrades.”