A rail summit has been called for the new year in order to fast track a key upgrade to the network serving Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
The meeting of MPs, councillors and local business leaders was prompted by Network Rail’s announcement that work on multi-million pound improvements to Ely North junction will be delayed until at least 2019. Network Rail and train operators will also be involved.
The new talks follow a meeting between MPs, Network Rail and Govia Thameslink, one of the main train operators which use the junction last week.
South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, who was one of the MPs at the meeting, said: “During the meeting, it became apparent that work needs to take place to the four level crossings around Ely and further surveys have to be done.
“What I am keen to ensure is that this happens as soon as possible so I have called for a round table discussion with the LEPs, council leaders and fellow MPs to see how this can be implemented sooner rather than later.
“The Transport Secretary has also confirmed that he will write to MPs by the end of this week detailing Network Rail’s plans for future works.
“East Anglia is a thriving and dynamic area of the UK and I am keen to see the rail infrastructure in place to support this growth and that residents in South West Norfolk can benefit from half hourly services on the King’s Lynn to London line and more frequent trains on the Thetford route.”
Matt Reeve, chairman of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), added: “We are, of course frustrated, that vital improvements to the Ely North Junction are being delayed, we understand that safety is the ultimate priority. However, these improvements are a key part of our strategic infrastructure plan.
“We therefore look forward to a positive discussion in the new year to help move this scheme forward.”