MPs to quiz Network Rail on vital rail junction

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 Friday (26th Feb 2016) 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.’

 

Attendees include: 

  • Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP (South West Norfolk)

  • Steve Barclay MP (North East Cambs)

  • George Freeman MP (Mid Norfolk)

  • Lucy Frazer MP (South East Cambs)

  • Sir Henry Bellingham MP (North West Norfolk)

  • Heidi Allen MP (South Cambs)

  • Cambridgeshire CC

    • Graham Hughes, Executive Director: Economy, Transport & Environment

  • East Cambs DC

    • James Palmer, Leader

  • Fenland DC

    • Paul Medd, Chief Executive

    • Cllr Simon King – Portfolio Holder for Equalities & Transport

    • Cllr Will Sutton – Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Planning

    • Gary Garford – Corporate Director

    • Wendy Otter – Development Manager (Transport).

  • King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council

  • Greater Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough LEP

  • New Anglia LEP

  • Stuart White, ‎Deputy Director, Rail Service Delivery, DfT

  • Colin Samson, FLUA

                                                                      

 

Apologies:

  • Cambridge City Council

  • Peterborough City Council

     

NR Attendees:

  • Richard Schofield, Route Managing Director (Anglia)

  • Chris Rowley, Principal Strategic Planner

  • Hannah Briggs, Public Affairs Manager

  • Steve Vidler, Senior Programme Developer

  • Lisa Goodman, Senior Development Manager