MPs call for investment in Ely rail network

MPs have approached ministers to make the case for improvements to a rail junction near Ely which could speed up services between King’s Lynn and London and boost growth across the region.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss and Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman meet transport secretary Justine Greening last week to make the case for investment.

They told the minister that the upgrade of Ely North would benefit the King’s Lynn, Ely to Norwich and Ely to Peterborough lines and would also benefit the movement of freight transport, though increased use of the line through Ely remains a contentious point with no decision made on whether an overpass will be built over the Great Ouse.

Ms Truss said: “I was keen for the Secretary of State to understand the wider benefits that the upgrade of the Ely North Junction will bring. Not only will the Fen Line link to King’s Lynn flourish as a result of the upgrade, but also the Ely to Norwich line. Further south, the ongoing development of the Cambridge Science and Technology park will be further enhanced by this improvement in infrastructure.

“In Downham Market station alone, passenger numbers are up 13pc on the previous year’s figures with many rail users commuting into Cambridge.

“The Thames Link consultation is due later this month and I believe the Ely North Junction should be incorporated within this consultation. I will keep pressing the Department for Transport on this.”

In January, a group of MPs inlcudig James Paice and Steve Barclay hosted a rail summit in Westminster with local councils, LEPs and rail providers to press for the upgrade of the Ely North Junction.

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The estimated cost of the upgrade is �10m. The MPs have been working towards ensuring the full economic benefits of the upgrade are made clear to the Department for Transport.