A solution to ease congestion on a Peterborough rail network is to be presented for government approval.
A tunnel under the East Coast Main Line at Werrington Junction could be ready by Autumn 2020 which would improve train times and passenger numbers on the King’s Cross to Edinburgh line.
Network Rail’s decision to pursue a ‘dive-under’ follows a year-long consultation to decide how to separate slow moving freight trains from faster, long distance passenger services at Werrington.
The consultation asked residents whether a tunnel or flyover was the best option.
According to Network Rail, around two-thirds of the 140 feedback forms it received indicated a strong preference for the dive-under.
The option will now be submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport at the end of next year for approval.
A Network Rail spokesman said if consent is given then a specialist contractor will be appointed to work on the next phase of the project with the hope that works will begin on the dive-under in the summer of 2018.
Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson, who was recently briefed by Network Railway on its plans, said: “I am pleased that a decision has been made in principle for the less onerous and disruptive tunnelling option and that there will be a proper consultation with local residents and an environmental assessment.
“I would urge residents in Werrington to try to attend the public consultations to have their say on the detailed proposals.
“I will keep a watching brief on the plans as they move forward.”
Consultation events are being held at the Hodgson Community Centre in Hodgson Avenue, Werrington, PE4 5EG, on Friday (October 2) from 3-7pm and Saturday (October 3) from 2.30-6pm.