VIDEO: More trains between King’s Lynn and Cambridge will boost economy in the Fens
THE economy in the Fens could receive a massive boost if a scheme to increase train services from King’s Lynn to Cambridge is given the green light.
Network Rail has announced it is exploring the possibility of providing a half-hourly service on the Fen Line rail link, which also includes Downham Market, Watlington and Ely.
The multi-million pound scheme could reduce the travel time for thousands of rail passengers who pack trains to commute from the Fens to London everyday.
It could also spark an influx of commuters moving into the towns and villages along the line right up to Lynn to take advantage of quicker services to the capital and breathe fresh life into the area.
The announcement follows calls from Norfolk and Cambridgeshire MPs for an upgrade of the line between King’s Lynn and Cambridge as part of future investment by Network Rail.
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South-West Norfolk MP, Elizabeth Truss, said: “I am extremely pleased to see that Network Rail is treating this seriously and will conduct a cost analysis of how the half-hourly service can be achieved.
“I will continue to maintain the pressure on Network Rail so that the Fen Line is included in Network Rail’s future works programme.
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“It is important that this really does translate into increased trains, passenger growth and encourage employment.”
Ms Truss, North East Cambridgeshire MP Stephen Barclay and Henry Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk, have said they will continue to “push hard” for the Fen Line upgrade ahead of Network Rail announcing its future capital funding for 2014 to 2019 next year.
Transport minister Theresa Villiers has already said that passengers on the Fen Line could benefit from new inter-city express trains from 2018, which will offer shorter journey times to London
Network Rail has said it will present a full cost analysis for the provision of a half-hourly service by September this year.
A spokesman said another track would need to be put in place between Littleport and Downham Market in order to accommodate a half-hourly service.