There’s ‘no prospect’ of funding for Ely North rail junction upgrade before 2019

Ely North Railway Junction

Ely North Railway Junction - Credit: Archant

Transport bosses have dashed hopes that extra funding would be provided for a crucial study holding up more twice-hourly train services between King's Lynn and Cambridge and Norwich and Cambridge at the Ely junction.

Elizabeth Truss MP. Picture: Ian Burt

Elizabeth Truss MP. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Last year the £35m upgrade to the Ely North rail junction – which was set to start in 2016 – was put back to at least 2019, when the next funding period starts.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss held a rail summit in February in Downham Market with fellow MPs and Network Rail, and campaigners agreed to seek to secure funding for a development study into the scheme as early as possible to make sure that work will be ready to start in 2019.

Ms Truss also made an unsuccessful plea for extra funding towards the project before the budget.

While the Department for Transport has pledged to support the work being done by local councils and local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) to progress the study, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said in a letter to Ms Truss that there was 'no prospect' of the government or Network Rail providing funding for the improvements before 2019.

Improvements to Ely North Junction could mean half-hourly services between the Fens and London. Pict

Improvements to Ely North Junction could mean half-hourly services between the Fens and London. Picture: Ian Burt. - Credit: IAN BURT

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He added in the letter: 'I understand the frustration that the delays to ...improvements will cause to customers. However, ...these major works are only being delayed, not cancelled.'

Ms Truss said: 'I will be having further meetings with Network Rail and Department for Transport officials to monitor progress.'

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