Identifying costs of Ely North Junction upgrade ‘vital,’ says Elizabeth Truss ahead of meeting with Network Rail
PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 February 2016 | UPDATED: 17:17 24 February 2016
Network Rail is set to be quizzed by members of Parliament, councils and business leaders over the delayed upgrade of the Ely North junction.
The meeting, organised by South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, comes after months of lobbying by MPs to upgrade Ely North as soon as possible, and to ensure that the half-hourly services on the King’s Lynn line to London are on schedule for 2017/18.
Network Rail will respond to questions at a meeting at Downham Market Town Hall on Friday (February 26), after the service said that the upgrade could be delayed by up to seven years.
At a meeting held in December 2015 at Ely station, Mrs Truss urged Network Rail to investigate what further work could be done to progress the scheme.
She said: “MPs, councils and business leaders are all fully committed to securing the upgrade of Ely North as soon as possible. However, the full cost and scale of the project is still not known.
“When I met Network Rail in December 2015 they agreed to explore the options for a feasibility study, time frames, implementation of half hourly services on the Fenline and what can be done to progress the scheme sooner rather than later.
“I have met the Transport Secretary and Rail minister to reiterate the fact that this is a critical rail junction in the eastern region serving a number of freight and passenger trains so it is vital the costs of the upgrade are identified and this is what I will be pressing Network Rail on.”
George Freeman MP added: “The Ely Junction is now the critical bottleneck holding back the vital Norwich to Cambridge to Stansted ‘Innovation Line’ which could create thousands of jobs in rural Norfolk.”