Rail summit will hear progress report on improvements to Ely North junction

PUBLISHED: 09:38 30 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:39 30 April 2018

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

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A major rail summit will this week hear how the campaign for long-awaited improvements to Ely North Junction is proceeding.

Politicians and business leaders say improvements north of the city at Queen Adelaide would help unlock the region’s economy and speed up journey times.

Some £8m in funding was agreed last year from learning and enterprise partnerships (LEPS) and the government’s Strategic Freight Network.

The money was to fund a feasibility study into how improvements could be carried out.

Five lines from different points of the compass presently converge at Queen Adelaide, two miles north of Ely, meaning the work could potentially be complex to complete.

On Friday, May 4, politicians will meet in Ely to hear progress reports and campaign updates.

The session will be hosted by South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss. Also attending will be MPs Sir Henry Bellingham, Jo Churchill and George Freeman, along with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor James Palmer.

Also supporting the event will be Stansted Airport, which is keen to see the junction improved for its own future growth plans.

The meeting, at East Cambridgeshire Council’s Nutholt Grange HQ, will include progress reports on other rail issues. Rail officials will be on hand to provide updates.

It comes in the wake of what rail-users’ lobby group the Fen Line Users Association calls “a cemetery of promises which have not been kept”.

Plans for longer, more frequent trains pledged for this year have been abandoned by rail operators because platforms have not been extended along the King’s Lynn - Cambridge line.

An amended timetable also includes longer stops at some stations, meaning the journey from Lynn to London will take 10 minutes longer.

Rail chiefs say the move will mean fewer delays and more reliable services.

In a statement train firm Govia Thameslink, which operates the Great Northern franchise on the Fen Line, said: “With passenger numbers doubling in 16 years, the allocated stop times at many stations are simply too short to reasonably account for those getting off and on - so at 75 stations trains will stop for longer.”

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