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Letter urges minister to prioritise rail junction

PUBLISHED: 10:30 26 September 2015

Elizabeth Truss MP and George Freeman MP at the Queen Adelaide level crossing close to the Ely North junction. Picture: Ian Burt

Elizabeth Truss MP and George Freeman MP at the Queen Adelaide level crossing close to the Ely North junction. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Politicians and business leaders in the region have written to the transport minister calling for improvements to the Ely North Junction to take place as soon as possible.

The £35m upgrade – which was set to start in 2016, meaning half hourly services introduced between King’s Lynn and London – is on hold after the Department for Transport announced a review of its works.

But the letter to Patrick McLoughlin urges him to make the junction’s improvements a priority, stating the investment would bring an estimated £220m in economic benefits.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, one of the signatories, said: “The economic boost to the region will be tremendous, attracting significant inward investment.

“Last month at an employment event in Downham Market, businesses looking to invest in West Norfolk commented to me that the half hourly service on the King’s Lynn to London line will be pivotal in driving forward jobs and educational opportunities.”

In July this year, she met the rail minister, Claire Perry, with MPs Henry Bellingham and Lisa Fraser.

Mr Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk, said: “This is a vital investment which represents superb value money, and given that the business case for it has already been fully established, it needs to be given the green light now.”

The letter has been signed by nine representatives, including council leaders, MPs and the Greater Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LEP.

How could the upgrade improve your business? Email louise.hepburn@archant.co.uk

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3 comments

  • I do hope the government gets a move on with this vital project. It's not just the King's Lynn line that will benefit. I'm not a rail expert but I understand that improving the Ely Junction would unlock improvements across a chunk of the regional rail network (including improving passenger journey times from Norwich to Cambridge and freight services from Harwich to Nuneaton). PS: The rail network was renationalised in 2014 - it's just the train operating companies that are (mainly) owned by shareholders. Network Rail is the "not-for-dividend owner and operator of Britain’s railway infrastructure" and "an arm’s-length central government body." It has "commercial and operational freedom to manage Britain’s railway infrastructure" but acts within government imposed "regulatory and control frameworks."

    Report this comment

    Huw Sayer

    Monday, September 28, 2015

  • A 'privatised' railway that can't operate without taxpayer handouts - what a joke these politicians are

    Report this comment

    Rob44

    Sunday, September 27, 2015

  • Compared to other schemes this one is hugely relevant. Votewise, however, it isn't so important so I will be interested to see where priorities lie.

    Report this comment

    Green Ink from Tunbridge Wells

    Saturday, September 26, 2015

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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