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Twice-hourly trains between King’s Lynn and London put on backburner

PUBLISHED: 08:38 26 November 2015 | UPDATED: 08:38 26 November 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

Major improvements to the Ely North Junction which are key to the introduction of twice-hourly trains between London and King’s Lynn have been delayed, despite lobbying.

A review by Sir Peter Hendy, chairman of Network Rail, into its five-year funding programme to 2019 has concluded that the majority of the programmes can go-ahead as planned.

However, the £35m upgrade – which was set to start in 2016, meaning half-hourly services between Lynn and London –have been put back to at least 2019, when the next funding period starts.

The review states the upgrade has been delayed to allow co-ordination with safety critical level crossing works nearby.

However, it adds that, “Network Rail is aware of the strong aspirations of the DfT and local user groups and MPs to see improvements to services on the Cambridge to King’s Lynn corridor as soon as practicable”.

The review was released as the chancellor George Osborne today announced hundreds of millions of pounds of extra funding for Britain’s railways to ensure Network Rail can carry out the bulk of its five-year plan.

As reported, politicians and business leaders in the region wrote to the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin in September calling for improvements to the Ely North Junction to take place as soon as possible.

Elizabeth Truss, South West Norfolk MP, George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, and Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, who have lobbied for the improvements, are due to meet Mr McLoughlin tomorrow.

Ms Truss said: “The Hendy Review has recognised the importance of the Ely North rail junction to local MPs, councils and business.

“I want to see the upgrade as soon as possible. I will be raising this with the Secretary of State for Transport tomorrow. “The half-hourly service on the King’s Lynn to London line is scheduled to commence in 2017 and I am keen to work with the Department for Transport so that South West Norfolk can benefit from this increased service.”

5 comments

  • Where was Henry Bellingham the MP for North West Norfolk, by his absence and no comments from him it would appear that trains do not go to King's Lynn. Perhaps in the next boundary review Bellingham's constituency will be merged into that of South West Norfolk and Liz Truss will then be able to speak for us with authority.

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    Norfolcia

    Saturday, November 28, 2015

  • In view of recent publicity on such matters this has to be the most irresponsible photograph I have seen ever. To pose in this way on a live railway line is JUST DOWNRIGHT STUPID. If these two people don't post some kind of apology I feel like reporting them to the relevant authorities for action to be taken, if they have not already taken notice. Transport Police are you reading this newspaper?

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    drew

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • I agree with Jennifer. Considering the sums being spent elsewhere this offers better value for money. This would have been a real achievement. Having been postponed till 2019 one is very sceptical about that date or any other becoming a reality. What a shame. It is time our politicians measured pending in terms of efficiency rather than vote winning but I'll dream on.

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    Green Ink from Tunbridge Wells

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • When are we going to get joined up thinking from Network Rail. Not only is this work important for the Kings Lynn line it is also important for the Norwich to London line via Cambridge. All the more important that this work is carried out before any work is done to improve the line via Ipswich Norwich in 90. It was proved just this week with the signalling problems that travellers to Norwich and Diss from London need this line and half hourly trains. Please please bring some common sense into the decision making and perhaps think of the people who pay through their taxes and the fares

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    jennifer jane

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

  • REALLY !! Very clever to take photo on a railway line ...........

    Report this comment

    Sparky 45

    Thursday, November 26, 2015

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

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