Minister pushing for rail upgrade at Ely to be completed on time

Liz Truss. Picture: Steve Williams.

Liz Truss. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A Government minister is pushing for the planned upgrade to Ely north junction – which would pave the way for half-hourly trains to London – not to get bogged down in delays.

The £25m scheme would see track north of Ely’s railway station dualled, allowing half-hourly trains between King’s Lynn, Littleport, Ely and London, while speeding up passenger and freight services across the rest of the region.

When funding was announced for the project, Network Rail promised that the work would be complete by 2019.

But the work could be delayed if safety issues for users at three level crossings north of the junction cannot be resolved.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We are committed to upgrading Ely North Junction as part of our investment programme, from 2014-2019.

“This planned increase in capacity means we have to consider any impact on level crossings in the area.

“Our aspiration is to deliver both projects around the same time to minimise any potential disruption. Our aim is to deliver the upgrade by 2019 and we are currently working on the plans for the upgrade.”

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Secretary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Elizabeth Truss said: “There are additional challenges with the upgrade in relation to the road crossing. Network Rail are working with the various authorities to find a suitable solution however I am very keen to ensure this remains on track and that there is no slippage in the timetable of works.

“Working with Lucy Frazer and other key partners, every support will be given to ensure this can progress as soon as possible. Ely North is such a key junction for passenger and freight transport that it is vital any delays are kept to the absolute minimum.”