MPs call for ‘certainty’ over rail upgrade plan

Peterborough rail station 'train station 'railway station 'interior 'exterior
Peterborough rail station 'train station 'railway station 'interior 'exterior
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A delegation of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire MPs have met ministers to set out the case for a key upgrade to the counties’ rail links after the project was delayed.

Network Rail announced on Wednesday night that work on the Ely north junction would not start until at least 2019.

It is now due to be completed in a spending period that does not finish until 2024.

But South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, Mid-Norfolk’s George Freeman and South East Cambridgeshire’s Lucy Frazer met transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin yesterday to set out their concerns over the delay.

In a statement issued this morning, Ms Truss said Mr McLoughlin had pledged to write to them to set out the implications for planned service improvements by December 10.

She said: “I stressed the importance of the junction for jobs and growth in Norfolk. I want passengers and business to have certainty as soon as possible about when the half hourly service on the King’s Lynn to London line will be in place and when the junction will be upgraded.

“I am also keen to see the Thetford route benefit from more frequent services.

“That is why Ely North is such a key junction in East Anglian as once upgraded it will increase the capacity on a number of rail links.”

Mr Freeman added: “The Ely North junction bottleneck is stopping half hourly services between Cambridge, King’s Lynn and Norwich, and faster freight links to Peterborough.

“Stations like Wymondham could be part of the artery linking rural Norfolk with Norwich and Cambridge, attracting investment and new jobs to the area as well as easing pressure on our roads.”