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Treasury pressed to fund Ely rail upgrade


26 June 2020

The DfT is asking the Treasury to fund more development work on a rail investment programme for Ely in Cambridgeshire and a junction in Suffolk to provide more capacity for passenger and freight.

Naomi Green, the England’s Economic Heartland’s head of technical programme, told members of its strategic transport forum: “A number of rail schemes are being developed concurrently by Network Rail, the DfT and the Ely Taskforce to increase capacity through the Ely area. 

“At the time of writing, funding is being sought by the DfT to bring together options for capacity enhancements at Ely and Haughley into an outline business case as part of the next rail network enhancement pipeline decision gateway. 

“The focus of this stage is to further advance development work towards a single viable option.”

Ely lies at the junction of five railway lines, three from the north (Peterborough, Kings Lynn and Norwich) and two from the south (Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds/Ipswich).

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority reported in March that a project to increase rail capacity through Ely was likely to cost more than £500m (LTT 06 Mar). 

Haughley Junction in Suffolk is where the Bury St Edmunds/ Ely line splits from the Ipswich-Norwich Great Eastern Main Line. The junction is single track and the rail industry and councils want it doubled. 

The EEH and Transport East, the alliance of local authorities in East Anglia, are proposing sending a joint letter to the Treasury, urging it to fund the work.

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