A Transport minister has given the strongest hint yet that the government will pay for a £25m rail upgrade to the Ely Junction.

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Theresa Villiers made her comments after being lobbied by a series of Norfolk and Suffolk MPs at a House of Commons debate yesterday.

The junction has been identified as a ‘bottleneck’ which is slowing down rail services across East Anglia and hindering economic growth.

Ms Villiers said: “I got the message loudly and clearly on the importance that honourable members attach to the Ely Junction.

“Later this month we’ll publish our [investment programme] to cover what we want the rail industry to deliver in the 2014 to 2019 period. Some of the larger headline schemes are likely to be directly mentioned in the statement.”

She added: “I can assure you we’ll be giving very careful consideration to the points made about the Ely Junction and other rail improvements talked about in the debate today.

“I should also mention that we anticipate that the [investment programme] statement is likely to contain certain general funding pots to be made available over the five year period, which could be used to support various different schemes around the country, including in East Anglia.”

Her comments come the day after MPs joined with local government and business leaders to launch the East Anglian Rail Prospectus – a plan for transforming the region’s rail network over the next two decades.

Upgrading Ely Junction is one early step the prospectus states is vital to developing the region’s rail network into one which can support economic growth and an expected population expansion.

Yesterday’s debate was attended by Norwich South MP Simon Wright, Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman, South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss, Broadland MP Keith Simpson, West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock, Central Suffolk MP Dan Poulter and was led by Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey.

Meanwhile the MPs will meet transport secretary Justine Greening today to further lobby for investment.

10 comments

  • Now it's "hope growns" ????,Now it's "hope growns" ?????

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    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • What a wonderful title to this article - this attracted me to it straightaway.

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    Sadie Lodge

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • Oh, anything please - to improve the dire rail journey between Norwich and Manchester!

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    biglingers

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • So how is this helping when trains have to cross a single line bridge to access Norwich station. Spending money at Ely is not helping the Norwich - London line but may help Kings Lynn. These MPs are obviously very experienced railway planners since they appear to have all the answers to the railway network problems.

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    Port Watcher

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • For any folks who have come in late the original title for this article was hghghghghghghghghghghghghgghghghghghghghg

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • I am very pleased that our MP's have at last run over the points in favour of this long overdue investment in the East Anglian railway network. Perhaps we can look forward to fast direct train services from Norwich to London Kings Cross via Thetford, Ely, Cambridge and Stevenage. Liverpool Street is the wrong place to end up - Kings Cross is so much more central and better connected - and even the City has moved away from Liverpool St to be in Docklands!

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    JCW

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • What's all this double talk?

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • Is she choking on a fish bone,Is she choking on a fish bone?

    Report this comment

    Tudor Bushe

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • what a ridiculous waste of print that title is if it was someone making a comment like that it would be removed under the title "other"

    Report this comment

    i am mostly wrong??

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

  • Is it a quote from the Transport Minister?

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

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

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