East Anglia's rail services in need of 'vital' improvement - round table meeting scheduled for February
PUBLISHED: 12:30 09 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:24 09 December 2015
MP's and business leaders from across the eastern region this week confirmed that a round table meeting will be held in the new year to explore the options for upgrading the Ely North rail junction.
The round table discussion comes after MP Elizabeth Truss met Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Trains in Ely to investigate the reasons why the planned upgrade of the Ely North junction will now take place in 2019 -2024.
The Hendy Review, which was published on November 25, reviewed all of Network Rail’s programme of works and re-scheduled the upgrade.
Following the publication of the review Ms Truss, George Freeman MP and Lucy Frazer MP met the transport secretary to highlight the importance of the Ely North Junction to East Anglia.
Elizabeth Truss MP for South West Norfolk said: “I am keen to ensure this happens as soon as possible.
“The Transport Secretary has also confirmed that he will write to MPs by the end of this week detailing Network Rail’s plans for future works.
“East Anglia is a thriving and dynamic area of the UK and I am keen to see the rail infrastructure in place to support this growth.”
Lucy Frazer MP for South East Cambridgshire said: “The upgrade to the Ely North Junction is vital for our area and I am pressing to ensure that this takes place.”
Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP said: ‘The Ely Junction is a critical crossroads for connections to and from the East to the rest of the UK.
“Investment to upgrade the line is essential to unlock the growth potential of our key towns and cities and development of the important freight corridor.”
Mark Reeve, Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP chairman said: “We are of course frustrated that vital improvements to the Ely North Junction are being delayed.
“We understand that safety is the ultimate priority. However these improvements are a key part of our strategic infrastructure plan.
“Upgrading the junction will unlock a number of benefits for the local area including creating new jobs by drawing out the growth of Cambridge further into Ely.
“Looking beyond the immediate area, this work will have a wider positive impact on the network stretching from Birmingham to Stansted and Felixstowe to Nuneaton, as routes are currently constrained by the junction.
“We therefore look forward to a positive discussion in the new year to help move this
The roundtable discussion will take place in Downham Market on Friday February 26 from 1pm to 2.30pm. Attending the meeting will be MPs from across the region, LEPs, councils, Network Rail and train operators.