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Residents fear Ely North junction upgrade could lead to level crossing closures in their village

PUBLISHED: 15:14 16 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:14 16 October 2017

A First Capital Connect train passes through the Queen Adelaide level crossing heading to King's Lynn along the Fen Line after the Ely North junction. Picture: Ian Burt

A First Capital Connect train passes through the Queen Adelaide level crossing heading to King's Lynn along the Fen Line after the Ely North junction. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Residents fear the upgrade to a bottleneck junction will cut them off from the community and extend journey times.

Last week, South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss announced upgrades to the Ely North junction will be going ahead.

This will mean more frequent passenger and freight services will pass through Queen Adelaide on Ely Road, where crossings for the King’s Lynn, Peterborough and Norwich lines are located within half a mile.

A feasibility study into the project is currently under way and could be completed before spring next year.

MORE: Multimillion pound upgrade to Ely Junction “will definitely go ahead”, says Norfolk MP

But residents in Queen Adelaide are concerned one or more of the crossings will be closed as a result of the upgrade to avoid traffic build up and long queues in the area.

Risk assessments of the crossings by Network Rail places them at high risk to the general public.

Alternative routes within the village could increase a short trip of a few hundred yards into a journey of a number of miles.

One resident, former county councillor Rupert Moss-Eccardt, said decisions might have already been made if the feasibility study is to be completed in the next couple of months.

He said drivers getting to and from the village may be directed towards Queen Adelaide Way or circle around Littleport via Branch Bank.

“All manner of problems will arise if they were closed,” he added. “Our community will be destroyed. 
“It will take the ambulance 20 minutes more to reach me in an emergency and add 15 miles of travel on slow roads.

“For the RAF bases in Lakenheath and Mildenhall, this is their route to work.

“My neighbour’s son lives in the village currently 200 yards away but it could increase to 15 miles.

“Alternative routes are not very good and are very lengthy - we are being told nothing has been decided but we need to come up with appropriate alternatives.

“To cost up a bypass, that is not doable in a matter of months.”

A traffic study looking into the impact of increased services on traffic in Queen Adelaide is being carried out by Cambridge County Council and Network Rail. They jointly held an engagement event Queen Adelaide village hall in September where they assured more than 100 residents that no decisions have been made.

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