MPs and councillors call for improved Ely rail junction

MPs and councillors in the east of England have called for a major rail junction in Cambridgeshire to be expanded to provide economic benefits.

The group met Network Rail and train operating companies to discuss the Ely north junction, where three lines converge.

It links London, Norwich, Cambridge, Peterborough and King's Lynn.

MPs said improvements would cost £10m, create more frequent services and boost business in East Anglia.

The Ely north junction is at the heart of east-west and north-south train journeys in the region.

The Norwich to Cambridge line, the Ipswich to Peterborough route and the fen line to King's Lynn all converge at Ely and could be given half-hourly services if the site was improved, it is claimed.

'Practical solutions'

South west Norfolk Conservative MP Elizabeth Truss said investment would change the perception of East Anglia's distance from other business centres.

Image caption Chris Starkie said a better junction would improve job prospects

"I think this is an ideal time for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridge MPs to lobby for this, the government is looking for projects that will help drive economic growth and we want East Anglia to be at the forefront of their minds," she said.

Chris Starkie, director of New Anglia Enterprise Partnership, which works on improvements for business in Norfolk and Suffolk, said the meeting was "productive" and looked at practical solutions for the region's rail problems.

"If you want to travel from Norwich to Peterborough or from King's Lynn to London then it's really important the junction is improved.

"Research carried out by Norfolk County Council has shown that there is significant potential passenger growth from King's Lynn to London.

"This is also about giving people the chance to find jobs in other locations and for companies to be based in this area.

"Improving the Ely junction would be a significant boost to the local economy."

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