Today 21 November 2012, in a letter to Transport Minister Simon Burns, Network Rail has confirmed that the feasibility study into the upgrade of the Ely North Junction will be completed in Feb 2013. This will then give guidance to Network Rail for when the Ely North upgrade will be completed. The letter was in response to a meeting held last month between South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham and Minister of State for Transport Simon Burns. During the meeting the Transport Minister Simon Burns agreed to write to Network Rail asking for the commitment for works on the Ely North to be completed in 2014/2015.
Since entering parliament in 2010, Elizabeth has been a vocal campaigner for improvements on the Fen Line (kings Lynn to London) and the Cambridge to Norwich Line. The upgrade will enable a twice hourly service from King’s Lynn to King’s Cross, open up capacity on the Norwich to Cambridge line, and more frequent services from Ipswich to Peterborough. It will sustain rail freight on three local routes (Felixstowe-Nuneaton, Ipswich-Peterborough, and Norwich-Cambridge) as well as linking the high growth innovation clusters in Cambridge, Norwich and Ipswich. The benefits to the region from the upgrade have been put at £220 million.
Elizabeth commented ‘Network Rail has said that early next year we should have an idea of when works on Ely North Junction upgrade can take place. I am extremely pleased that the Chief Executive of Network Rail understands how important this is to the region and is committed to improving the rail network in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Once upgraded the benefits to the Fenline into Kings Lynn and the Cambridge to Thetford /Norwich route will be tremendous. Infrastructure is key to future growth and will be a real boost to the area in terms of jobs, housing, and tourism with an estimated economic benefit of £220 million to the region. An accurate timeframe for the Ely North upgrade will enable business and local residents to plan for the future accordingly.’
Attached: Letter from Chief Executive of Network Rail to Rail Minister Simon Burns