MPs and rail officials to meet with transport secretary to make the case for Ely North junction upgrade

PUBLISHED: 14:30 10 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:51 10 October 2017

Sir Henry Bellingham and Elizabeth Truss will meet with transport secretary Chris Grayling to press for Ely North junction upgrade. Picture: Ian Burt

Sir Henry Bellingham and Elizabeth Truss will meet with transport secretary Chris Grayling to press for Ely North junction upgrade. Picture: Ian Burt

Campaigners will speak to the transport secretary to press the case for a multi-million pound investment on a bottleneck railway junction.

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

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss will lead a group meeting with Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, to discuss the benefits of upgrading Ely North junction.

It is hoped the meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, October 11) in the Depeartment for Transport will ensure the project remains a key priority.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Ms Truss said: “Ely North rail junction is a key priority for me and I have long campaigned to secure the investment and upgrade of it.

“The meeting this week with the Transport Secretary is to demonstrate the substantial support for the upgrade and the significant benefits this will bring.

A 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 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

“The eastern region is host to a dynamic and vibrant business environment; I want to ensure we have the infrastructure in place to drive future economic growth and prosperity.”

Ms Truss will be joined by MPs Sir Henry Bellingham, Lucy Frazer and George Freeman, local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), freight and passenger train operators as well as West Norfolk council chief executive Ray Harding.

Mr Bellingham said the meeting will ensure an ongoing relationship with the transport secretary, adding: “This is very much an important meeting in order for this project to progress.

“It is going to be pivotal in unlocking some of the work that needs doing on the line and modernising the infrastructure to make it fit for purpose.”

Improvements to the junction could bring increased services on a number of routes across the region, including half-hourly trains between King’s Lynn and London.

In a rail summit earlier this year, chaired by Ms Truss, it was agreed that a feasibility study into what was described as a “complex scheme” would cost £8.8m.

The study could be completed as early as spring next year.

Officials said if the project is successful in securing funding then work could begin in three years time.

In 2015, improvements to the junction were estimated at £35m - which Network Rail now believes will cost considerably more - and work was due to start this year.

But after failing to gain additional funding the project was pushed back to 2019 when the next round of funding begins for major rail projects.

Economic boost and increased services

An assessment made by Norfolk County Council said improvements to Ely North junction could boost the region’s economy by £220m.

It is hoped the upgrade would ease the bottleneck junction at Queen Adelaide and provide more frequent services.

An average of six trains pass through the junction every hour, on the following routes:

• Norwich to Cambridge, currently hourly service.

• Norwich to Liverpool via Peterborough, hourly.

• Ipswich to Peterborough, two hourly.

• King’s Lynn to London, half hourly at peak times, hourly at other times.

• Birmingham to Stansted, hourly.

• Freight services from Felixstowe and King’s Lynn.

• Wisbech to Cambridge where the track is in place and available to reopen.

1 comment

  • A friend has contacted the railway police regarding these two MPs - Elizabeth Truss (Conservative, South West Norfolk) and George Freeman (Conservative, Mid-Norfolk) - doing something stupid for publicity on the railway line at Queen Adelaide, near Ely. The stupid photographer who pictured them doing something stupid for publicity ought to be copped, too.

    Report this comment

    Geoffrey Woollard

    Friday, October 13, 2017

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

More news stories

Yesterday, 07:58

Gamblers in Ely and East Cambridgeshire lose on average £2,600 a day to fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) says a campaign group for fairer gambling.

Yesterday, 15:00

A TripAdvisor-topping restaurant in Fordham is to feature in the 2018 Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland.

Yesterday, 12:09

A March GP and his wife who run a medical relief charity have been kidnapped in Nigeria.

Yesterday, 08:10

Steam railways fans will have to wait three more weeks to see the Flying Scotsman in action – but will it visit Ely?

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter