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Direct rail service between Ely, Soham, Newmarket and Cambridge could be created



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A council is looking to secure funding to re-open a piece of rail infrastructure which would provide a direct service between Ely, Soham, Newmarket, and Cambridge.

In the latest version of its corporate plan, Ely-based East Cambridgeshire District Council said following the re-opening of Soham’s station in December last year there was a strong case for bringing both the Snailwell and Dullingham Loops back into use, both of which, it said, would have multiple benefits for local communities.

The Snailwell Loop would provide rail passengers from Soham with a direct route to Cambridge, while the Dullingham Loop would provide rail services to Kennett where, through its Palace Green Homes development, the council is building 500 new homes.

Snailwell rail loop
Snailwell rail loop

Providing the means for active travel has been one of the council’s top priorities. Last year it secured Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) market town funding to help part-fund the Wicken to Soham cycleway, and it will be pursuing further funds to help make this a reality over the coming year. It has also been working with cycling charity Sustrans to produce feasibility studies for a further five cycle routes.

“We may only be a small district council but we like to pack a large punch and deliver the very best deal for our residents,” said council leader Anna Bailey.

“Last year we celebrated some very large achievements. We also delivered 16 pledges in our environmental plan and celebrated the opening of Soham railway station. This was despite a very challenging year.

“Like all councils, we have continued to be affected by Covid-19 and a national shortage of HGV drivers has impacted the delivery of our waste service.

“However, we have always prided ourselves on tight financial management. Income generated by our trading companies, which includes East Cambs Trading Company, trading as Palace Green Homes, Ely Markets and Parks and Open Spaces, provides a financial benefit to the council, which to date has amounted to more than £3 million. We have a very exciting year ahead and one which I hope will really deliver for each and every person living in East Cambridgeshire.”