Leaders call for funding to upgrade Ely and Haughley rail junctions
Business, transport and council chiefs have called for the government to fund Haughley and Ely rail junction upgrades ‘as soon as possible’.
The upgrades would ensure faster and more regular rail services from Ipswich, Norwich, Cambridge, King’s Lynn and Peterborough, while Felixstowe freight services would be able to take a direct route through Ely to the Midlands.
This week John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce; Cllr Matthew Hicks, Suffolk County Council leader; and James Burles, managing director of Greater Anglia, wrote to MP Mark Harper, Secretary of State for Transport, calling for funding to be made available quickly.
“As the senior representatives of Suffolk’s largest business body, local transport authority and rail passenger company we are writing to you specifically to ask that the full development funds are made available to Network Rail as soon as possible, to allow them to reinstate the project team and the necessary resourcing.
“We are also aware that Network Rail are ready and able to stand up just such a team to progress the full scheme design and begin the consent process.”
Meanwhile, Mr Dugmore, Cllr Hicks and Mr Burles asked for the Haughley junction upgrade to be carried out first ‘as a quick and deliverable phase one’.
The letter added: “This request reflects the smaller scale and cost of the project, shorter delivery timescales and the opportunities for resource and disruption management by aligning work with planned track maintenance.
“Such news over the next few months, especially with this element of phasing in of elements of the overall project, would send a clear and demonstrable message of the seriousness of the intent of the Government in investing in this project."