DFT to maximise the potential of rail in the east

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has today welcomed the letter from the Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin in which the Transport Secretary recognises the growth in East Anglia’s rail network.  Responding to the letter sent to his office on the 18th September by MPs, council leaders and the Greater Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LEP where concerns had been raised about a delay in upgrading the Ely North Rail Junction, the Transport Secretary has asked Department For Transport (DFT) officials to work with Elizabeth to maximise the potential of rail services in the region.

 

In July 2015 Elizabeth, Henry Bellingham MP and Lucy Frazer MP met the Rail Minister Claire Perry to highlight the importance of the Ely North junction. On 18th September council leaders, MPs and the Greater Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LEP outlined in a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport the key economic benefits that the upgrade of the Ely North Junction will bring with an economic boost of £220 million.

 

Elizabeth commented ‘The upgrade of the Ely North junction will drive forward investment in South West Norfolk and provide a massive economic boost to the region. I am pleased that the Transport Secretary recognises the growth in the East Anglia Rail network. I will continue to ensure the upgrade remains on track and will work with the DFT, MPs, councils and the business community in order that local residents and visitors can benefit from half hourly trains on the Kings Lynn to London line  and increased services on the Thetford route.’

 

Attached: Secretary of State for Transport letter

Below: Letter 25th Sept 2015 to Secretary of State for Transport

 

Notes to editors

After sustained lobbying by Elizabeth, fellow MPs, councils and the business community, Network Rail announced in March 2014 that the upgrade of the Ely North Junction would take place in Control Period 5 (CP5), commencing 2016 with completion 2017. Working jointly with local councils, landowners and Department for Transport the scheme was already well progressed with plans to commence works at the end of this year. At a projected cost of £35 million, the government had committed £16 million to the scheme with the remainder coming from local councils, Network Rail and developer contributions.

 

In July this year the Department for Transport announced that a review of all works in CP5 would now take place. Ely North is a key junction on the East Anglian rail network which once the upgrade is completed will facilitate half hourly train services on the Downham Market and Thetford routes as well as improved cross country and freight services offering an economic boost of £220 million. There will be even further benefits in terms of housing growth, new business attracted to the area, more jobs that have not been included in the £220 million figure. The upgrade will also facilitate the Wisbech to Cambridge Science Park line which is critical to the development of up to 10,000 new homes in and around Wisbech and the Ely Bypass is also one of Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough LEP’s top priorities for delivery alongside the A14.

 

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