Longer holdups expected at Ely rail crossing as freight diverted through the city during the Olympics

HOLD-ups at Ely railway crossing are expected to increase this summer, as extra freight trains are re-routed through the city during the Olympic Games.

Network Rail has confirmed that freight from Felixstowe and Ipswich is due to pass through Ely, instead of going into London, due to the extra passenger services operating to serve the Olympics in the Stratford area.

The Mayor Ely, Councillor Will Burton, has called on East Cambs residents to “grin and bear it” when they are held up by the trains.” He said this week: Of course the city wants to support the Olympics, but the extra freight traffic will mean a lot of inconvenience for people, as the crossing will be closed for even longer periods.

“Hopefully this will be a one-off situation, and will not go on forever. The good thing is, that the situation will emphasise the need for a new Ely bypass, and we hope that will happen sooner rather than later.”

The Olympic and Paralympic Games will run from July 27 to August 12, and from August 29 to September 9. During that time, there will be service alterations and special timetables in place, with both King’s Cross and Liverpool Street passenger stations expected to be extremely busy.

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The Mayor, who said he was speaking in a personal capacity, pointed out that many people are being affected by the Olympics. “I went on a gliding course and we were not allowed to fly over some air space because of the Olympics,” he said. “We will have to be patient at the crossing and show that we can deal with these things. We will have to be sensible, and grin and bear it. “

Cllr Burton says a new bypass for Ely would solve the problem of traffic hold ups at the level crossing. “I feel that the railways will benefit from a new bypass, and I hope they will contribute to funding it,” he added.. “The problems at the level crossing during the Olympics will emphasise the need for the bypass, and we can use that to our advantage.”

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A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Extra services will be running to the Olympic Park in Stratford during the games, and the network in the area will be busier than usual. As a result some freight services are being rerouted. There will be no impact on passenger services.”

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