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A big step forward for Norfolk's train services

Interior of new train at Kings Lynn

5:54am 12th October 2017

It's what train commuters in West Norfolk have been waiting to hear.

The latest news on plans for the Ely North Junction could also be a big boost for our local economy too.

MPs from our county have been calling for new improvements there to provide better services across the region.

They've met the Transport Secretary to show him how much these proposals would help our area.

MP for West Norfolk, Sir Henry Billingham said:

"The reason why this project is so important is that it is absolutely key to unlocking the half hourly service to King's Lynn as well as radically reducing the journey time from Cambridge to Norwich. All of this is vital to Norfolk's continuing economic growth. This was one of the most successful meetings I have ever been to with a senior Minister."

"The delegation received an exceptionally positive welcome and Chris Grayling told us that this was undoubtedly one of the most important strategic projects across the whole country. He went on to say it would definitely be included in the Control Period Number 6, which covers the period 2019-2024."

"As the project is almost ready to go all efforts must be now focussed on making sure that it commences in 2019. Myself and other members of the delegation are now going to be putting pressure on Network Rail to ensure that they deliver it on time."

Delegation meet Transport Secretary at DFT

[A successful trip to the capital]

MP for South West Norfolk, Elizabeth Truss led the delegation to London.

She said:

"The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling agreed with us that Ely Area Enhancement Programme is a priority and he wants to push ahead in Control Period 6 (CP6) with the upgrade. This is fantastic news, we have been campaigning for years for this and it will definitely be going ahead.

"One of the key aspects is to ensure the scheme is properly costed by Network Rail and the LEPs agreed to provide every assistance with this. Once the costings are finalised this will determine when in CP6 work starts.

"I am delighted that the Transport Secretary fully understood all the points we raised and that he has given this commitment today to see the work done in CP6 2019-2024. This will be an incredible boost to the region and the UK as a whole, investing in key infrastructure that will really transform rail travel in Norfolk."

The following rail lines are served by the Ely Area:

· Norwich to Thetford, Brandon and Cambridge, currently hourly service
· Norwich to Liverpool via Peterborough, hourly
· Ipswich to Peterborough, two hourly
· King's Lynn to London, half-hourly at peak times, hourly at other times. Franchise commitment specified by government to deliver half hourly services throughout the day from May 2017.
· Wisbech to Cambridge where the track is in place and available to reopen.
· Birmingham to Stansted, hourly
· Freight services from Felixstowe and King's Lynn 

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