Decisions to be made on Ely North Junction
5:50am 26th February 2016
Important decisions will be made later today on a vital link to and from King's Lynn.
The meeting organised by South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss is regarding the Ely North Junction, and how work on the railway is going to proceed.
Sir Henry Bellingham, North West Norfolk MP is attending:
Members of Parliament, councils and business leaders will this week quiz Network Rail on the upgrade of the Ely North junction.
The rail summit to be held on today will press for the upgrade of the junction to happen as soon as possible.
Organised by South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, the meeting comes as a result of months of lobbying by MPs to implement the upgrade of Ely North and to ensure the half hourly services on the Kings Lynn to London line are on schedule for 2017/2018.
Previously Ely North had been earmarked by Network Rail for improvements to take place in CP5 (2014-2018).
However the Hendy Review into Network Rail’s operation, published in November 2015, highlighted that the full cost of the scheme had not been accurately calculated by Network Rail and work would not start until Control Period 6.
Following the publication of Sir Peter Hendy’s report, Elizabeth Truss MP, George Freeman, MP for Mid Norfolk, and Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, met the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to highlight the importance of the junction to East Anglia. At a meeting held in December 2015 at Ely station, Elizabeth urged Network Rail to investigate what further work could be done to progress the scheme.
Elizabeth Truss MP commented
‘MPs, councils and business leaders are all fully committed to securing the upgrade of Ely North as soon as possible however the full cost and scale of the project is still not known. When I met Network Rail in December 2015 they agreed to explore the options for a feasibility study, time frames, implementation of half hourly services on the Fenline and what can be done to progress the scheme sooner rather than later. I have met the Transport Secretary and Rail minister to reiterate the fact that this is a critical rail junction in the eastern region serving a number of freight and passenger trains so it is vital the costs of the upgrade are identified and this is what I will be pressing Network Rail on.’
George Freeman MP added
‘The Ely Junction is now the critical bottleneck holding back the vital Norwich to Cambridge to Stansted “Innovation Line” which could create thousands of jobs in rural Norfolk.’