MPs call for improvements on King's Lynn - London rail line
PUBLISHED: 09:15 01 February 2019
© Archant Norfolk 2012
MPs are meeting rail bosses to call for improvements on one of the region's busiest lines.
Train services between King’s Lynn and London King’s Cross have been subject to growing criticism over delays, over-crowding and cancellations, prompting calls for new eight car trains to be brought in.
South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss will meet with representatives from Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railways to demand the upgrades are made a priority.
MP Sir Henry Bellingham will join Ms Truss at the meeting, due to be held in Downham Market today.
Ahead of the meeting Ms Truss said: “In January the Transport Secretary said that work was well under way with a funding announcement due this month – however the message I want to make to both Network Rail and the Department for Transport is this upgrade is an absolute priority for west Norfolk and I want to see rapid progress. “
The South West Norfolk MP added that she was keen to ensure the ‘thriving local economy’ was not impacted by rail inadequacies.
Following lobbying by Ms Truss, Secretary of Transport Chris Grayling publicly committed to installing eight car trains on the line and upgrading the Ely Rail Junction.
Proposals to carry out the work were tabled last February, but funding was not approved.
Sir Henry Bellingham said he believed the limited passenger space had started to affect local business.
He said: “The overcrowding between Cambridge and King’s Lynn has now got to the stage where it has become a real drag on inward investment – as well as making the journeys of many members of the public quite unacceptably unpleasant. There is obviously an immediate solution and I am looking to Network Rail and GTR to really grip the situation.”
Last month Richard Taylor, Network Rail’s head of strategic planning, acknowledged that overcrowding was an issue and said that extending trains would add ‘much-needed capacity’.