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Half hourly train service delayed until at least 2019

Rail work

12:09pm 26th November 2015
(Updated 12:09pm 26th November 2015)

Commuters and visitors in West Norfolk may have to wait another 10 years until twice-hourly trains between London and King's Lynn are introduced.

Major improvements to the junction at Ely North - which are key to the introduction of the new service have been delayed.

Network Rail have said the £35m upgrade which was set to start in 2016 has been put back to at least 2019, when the next funding period starts.

These commuters at King's Lynn have given their reaction to the latest developmemt.

It follows a review carried out by the Chairman of Network Rail

South West Norfolk MP, Elizabeth Truss has given her reaction to the developments;

The Hendy Review has recognised the importance of the Ely North rail junction to local MPs, councils and business.

I want to see the upgrade as soon as possible. I will be raising this with the Secretary of State for Transport tomorrow.

The half hourly service on the Kings Lynn to London line is scheduled to commence in 2017 and I am keen to work with the Department for Transport so that South West Norfolk can benefit from this increased service.

Ms Truss has a meeting with Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin on Thursday afternoon to discuss. Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman and Lucy Frazer the MP for South East Cambridgeshire will also be at the meeting.

Councillor Brian Long is in charge of Environmental issues at the Borough council.

Sir Peter Hendy, Chairman of Network Rail has recognised the need for the work at Ely in his report;

This scheme will be delivered now in CP6 to allow co-ordination with safety critical level crossing works nearby.

Despite this Network Rail is aware of the strong aspiration of the DfT and local user groups and MP's to see improvements to services on the Cambridge to Kings Lynn corridor as soon as practicable.

MP for Mid Norfolk George Freeman says;

“Ely Junction is a critical bottleneck for the East Anglian network, especially the Kings Lynn and Norwich to Cambridge lines, which I and neighbouring MPs have been promoting to drive inward investment and job creation.

The Norwich-Cambridge line through my constituency needs to go from the Dad’s Army line to the Innovation Express linking Norwich to Cambridge and Stansted. We need Network Rail to prioritise it, which is why we are meeting the Secretary of State today”

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