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King’s Lynn business chiefs in talks with rail bosses

Business leaders say they have been given assurances that work to run longer trains on West Norfolk’s rail line is on track to be completed next year.

Talks have taken place between rail bosses and representatives of the King’s Lynn BID committee over the ongoing work to double the length of trains running between Lynn and Cambridge.

The project, which was first outlined at a rail summit in Downham earlier this year, is intended to address persistent overcrowding, particularly at peak times.

And BID chairman Darren Taylor said he was encouraged by what he heard during a meeting with officials from Govia Thameslink, the parent company of the borough’s main train operator Great Northern.

He said the firm told him it still expects to start running longer trains from December next year and remains committed to running twice-hourly trains to and from Lynn, once the long-anticipated Ely North junction upgrade is completed.

He added: “There is still a way to go but I was very happy with how the talks with Govia Thameslink went.

“I’ll now be looking to set up a meeting with Network Rail to discuss progress on the Ely North junction improvements to make sure King’s Lynn gets the train service we have been promised and which we deserve.

“I would like to reassure town centre businesses and commuters that the plans appear to be going well, but we will keep up the pressure to make sure it happens.”

He also thanked North-West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham for setting up the meeting.

Earlier this year, the transport secretary Chris Grayling said he wanted the Ely work to be done during the next rail spending round, which runs from 2019 to 2024.

But a multi-million pound feasibility study, which is expected to determine just how much the project would cost, has still to be completed, although funding is agreed.

In July, the BID group also joined West Norfolk Council and the Fen Line Users Association (FLUA) to call for single track sections of the line to be re-dualled.

The latest comments come ahead of FLUA’s annual general meeting this weekend.

The meeting will take place at the St John’s Church Room, in Station Road, Waterbeach, this Saturday, November 18, starting at 2pm.


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