MPs have high hopes for improvements to West Norfolk travel links

LtoR, Mark Leslie (Editor) with Henry Bellingham MP, Allister Webb (News Editor),  Elizabeth Truss MP at the Lynn News office in King's Lynn ANL-150516-095503009
LtoR, Mark Leslie (Editor) with Henry Bellingham MP, Allister Webb (News Editor), Elizabeth Truss MP at the Lynn News office in King's Lynn ANL-150516-095503009
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West Norfolk’s MPs have said they are confident the borough will see improvements to its transport network during the next five years.

Last December, the area missed out on a share of almost £300 million of investment in improvements to the A47 across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

And rail campaigners have also expressed concern in recent weeks over the timetable for introducing more frequent rail services between Lynn and London, after Network Rail indicated the key infrastructure work may not be completed until 2019.

Environment secretary and South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss, who campaigned on the rail issue during the election, admitted the area “can’t afford to wait” for the network to be upgraded.

But she insisted the money was in place to upgrade the Ely north junction, which is the key bottleneck preventing train operators from running half-hourly services between West Norfolk, Cambridge and London King’s Cross.

On the A47 issue, she said: “We need to be knocking down the door to (transport secretary) Patrick McLoughlin’s office.”

And North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham said he was confident the area can expect further cash for the A47 during the new Parliament.

He added: “The package announced in the autumn statement was only a downpayment.”

Ms Truss said one of her key priorities for her second term at Westminster, which began yesterday, was to revive the Norfolk Nine group of MPs to work together on issues affecting the whole county.

The county has one new MP following the general election earlier this month – Labour’s Clive Lewis, who won the Norwich South constituency.

And Mr Bellingham said that looking at issues from too local a perspective risked losing credibility in the eyes of government.

One of the group’s most telling contributions was during the campaign against the Lynn incinerator, whose contract was finally terminated in April last year, following a lengthy campaign to remove government credits from the scheme.

Waste campaigners have voiced concern in recent weeks that the project could be revived if the Conservatives regain control of Norfolk County Council following the election of long-time incinerator supporter Cliff Jordan as the group’s leader.

But the MPs say they believe the project is “dead” and there is no way it can be revived.

They argue that more local solutions are now needed to deal with the county’s waste.