Cutter Bridge in Ely

Ely rail capacity project enters second round of public consultation

Proposals to upgrade the railway around Ely, increasing rail capacity through the Cambridgeshire city, have entered a second round of public consultation as Network Rail encourages feedback from the public.

The Ely area capacity enhancement (EACE) programme is intended to upgrade the rail network in and around Ely, allowing more trains to run through the city. This would increase regional connectivity and the reliability of passenger services.

It also aims to meet the growing demand for rail freight using the line, travelling between the Port of Felixstowe, the West Midlands and the North, supporting sustainable, long-term economic growth along the network.

New introductions to this round of public consultation centre around infrastructure upgrades in an area defined as Ely South, including:

  • Proposed infrastructure changes to part of the Soham branch line and Ely Dock junction
  • Proposed changes to track and platforms at Ely station
  • Options to upgrade the nearby Stuntney Road bridge
  • Options to upgrade two bridges across the Great River Ouse adjacent to Ely marina
  • Proposal to close Kiln Lane level crossing with options to maintain pedestrian and vehicle access to the east side of the railway

Feedback from the public consultation will be used to further amend and finalise designs prior to selecting preferred options. A Transport and Works Act Order would then be submitted in 2022 for the proposed project, subject to further funding.

The public consultation is being held by Network Rail via the Ely project website, due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, with consultation documents available to view and download.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “This is a chance for passengers who use the rail network through Ely to have a say on how to deliver better connectivity and more punctual, reliable services in the future.

“I encourage people to engage with the consultation, let us know your views on these proposed infrastructure improvements and help shape the future of your railway.”

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s Route Director for Anglia, added: “Following a successful consultation in late 2020 which saw a lot of support for the principle of increasing capacity through Ely, we are now in a position to present a number of options on how we can upgrade the railway to achieve these benefits.

It is so important to seek the views of the community who live and work in the Ely area. Their feedback will help to inform our designs as we progress with this important project and I hope everyone who wants to, will take the opportunity to have their say."

A further public consultation is planned later in 2021 to focus on the proposals and track layout remodelling options for other parts of the network.

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