Three local politicians join forces to push for upgrade to Ely North rail junction

MPs Liz Truss and Lucy Frazer were in Ely to promote efforts to speed up improvements to the Ely Nor

MPs Liz Truss and Lucy Frazer were in Ely to promote efforts to speed up improvements to the Ely North rail junction. They were joined by district council leader and mayorality hopeful James Palmer. - Credit: Archant

Three local politicians joined forces to highlight the importance of upgrading Ely North rail junction.

Elizabeth Truss MP joined Lucy Frazer MP and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayoral candidate, Councillor James Palmer, at Ely Railway station.

Ms Truss has been pressing for the upgrade of the rail junction to take place as quickly as possible.

Elizabeth said: “Significant progress has been made and we are now ready to secure funding to develop the scheme.

“The LEPs have in principal agreed this money. It will take two years to get the preparatory work done but it means that we will be at the front of the queue in the government’s next spending round.

“This is a key rail intersection in the eastern region, serving many freight and passenger routes.

“Once it is upgraded it will allow for a half hourly service on the Fen Line, improved services on the Thetford route, and will enable increased movement of the high value freight trains.

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“The benefits to the economy have been calculated in excess of £0.5 billion so I am delighted that the mayoral candidate, Cllr James Palmer, is joining local MPs in pressing for the scheme to be started as soon as possible.’

At a rail summit held in January, confirmation was given to Ms Truss that preparatory work on the junction and the surrounding roads would take two years to complete.

The freight companies have pledged £2 million to develop the scheme with a decision due from the LEPs for an additional £6.6 million to be confirmed this month.

In a letter to the Greater Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LEP and New Anglia LEP, Ms Truss has urged that funding be agreed as soon as possible so that work on the scoping study for the junction and surrounding roads can begin.