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Warning that delays on King’s Lynn to London rail improvements will hit business

PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 June 2015 | UPDATED: 08:44 18 June 2015

King's Lynn Train Station. Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Train Station. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

Businesses leaders have voiced their concerns about the possible delays in rail improvements between King’s Lynn and London, and the impact it could have on the local economy.

The twice-hourly train service resulting from improvements at the Ely North junction has the potential to bring millions of pounds in economic growth to West Norfolk and surrounding areas.

Works were originally set to be completed by 2017, but the Department of Transport called for Network Rail to review all its projects planned between now and 2019, raising fears that the promised improvements will face delays.

Meanwhile, Network Rail insists it is committed to upgrading the Ely North Junction as part of its current investment programme which runs until the end of March 2019.

Nick Daubney, of West Norfolk Council, said: “Having already got the news the funding for this work had been approved, I’m bitterly disappointed there could be delays.

“Our links to London and Cambridge are essential to the prosperity of King’s Lynn and the surrounding area.”

Analysts have calculated that the improvements to Ely North junction could generate economic benefits of around £100 million to the East of England, with much of that growth heading towards Norfolk.

Heather Garrod, President of the West Norfolk Chamber Council, said: “A fast, efficient rail service is essential to both business users and general rail passengers alike and in order to fully release Norfolk’s economic potential, the rail services and other infrastructure needs to be significantly improved.”

South-West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss last week said she has written to the rail minister Claire Perry to make sure the project moves forward.

How would these delays to improving the region’s infrastructure affect your business? Email louise.hepburn@archant.co.uk

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