‘Deliver what you promised’, West Norfolk MP warns rail chiefs
A West Norfolk MP has demanded rail bosses honour their pledge to expand capacity on the borough’s rail line as scheduled.
Last week, Network Rail bosses admitted they did not have a completion date for the project that would enable eight-coach trains to run routinely between Lynn and Cambridge.
The company had previously said it expected to complete the project during the current spending round, which ends next spring.
But South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has now added her voice to the criticism of other politicians and business leaders over what they see as a retreat from the firm’s earlier commitments.
She said yesterday: “I do not want to see the timetable of works sidelined or shunted off into the sidings by Network Rail so will certainly be pressing for an update on their future plans as a matter of urgency.
“I appreciate work needs to take place on extending some of the platforms, and changes are required at King’s Lynn station to accommodate the longer trains but a commitment was given for eight-car trains and funding has been allocated for this to take place.
“The increased demand on the Fen Line route certainly requires this extra capacity.
“With passenger numbers rising, Network Rail needs to stick to the original schedule and deliver the works on time.”
But Network Rail has defended its handling of the scheme, insisting it understands the importance of the additional capacity to the area.
The firm said: “We are currently working up plans with operators to confirm when the infrastructure works to enable these services can take place.
“Once we have agreed access arrangements, a detailed construction programme will be developed which will allow us to notify our stakeholders and the wider community about the expected commencement of the works.
“We should be in a position to set out expected delivery timescales for these infrastructure works once we have completed our usual internal planning and governance processes.”
The company also says selective door locking technology will form part of the completed project, along with extended platforms at certain stations.