MP presses government on rail link

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South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has called on government colleagues to ensure a multi-million pound upgrade of West Norfolk’s rail link is completed on time.

The environment secretary pledged to keep up the pressure for an early completion of the Ely North junction project, which will enable half-hourly trains to run between Lynn, Downham and London.

But rail officials have suggested the project may not be completed until 2019.

That would mean the extra services, which current operator Great Northern is contracted to introduce in 2017 if the work is completed, could be delayed for up to two years.

Rail campaigners have already warned that passenger demand is outgrowing the current infrastructure.

And Ms Truss has now written to rail minister Claire Perry to seek a meeting to discuss the project.

She said: “With rail passenger numbers increasing each year, the economic value of the upgrade to my constituency and the county as a whole is absolutely clear. This is the message I will continue to make to the Department for Transport.”

The upgrade is expected to cost £25 million to complete and will also enable additional cross-country passenger and freight services to run.

But a key sticking point is the need to resolve road safety issues at three level crossings to the north of the site.