South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss.

Campaigners have this week been assured important rail junction improvements will definitely go ahead some time between 2019 and 24.

The pledge was secured from transport secretary Chris Grayling at a meeting on Wednesday.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss led a delegation of fellow MPs, business and council leaders, rail users and freight operators as part of their ongoing campaign to keep the £35m Ely Rail Enhancement Programme a government priority.

Speaking afterwards, Ms Truss said the minister had agreed the programme was a priority and wanted to push ahead with the upgrade between 2019 and 2024.

Mrs Truss said: “This is fantastic news, we have been campaigning for years for this and it will definitely be going ahead.”

Campaigners have always argued an upgrade to Ely North junction was key to future investment in the region, improved rail services in West Norfolk and increased passenger services from King’s Lynn to London.

Ms Truss said one of the key aspects was to ensure the scheme was properly costed by Network Rail as the start date would be determined once costs had been finalised.

“I am delighted the transport secretary fully understood all the points we raised and that he has given commitment to see the work done in control period six, 2019 to 2024,” said Ms Truss.

The project, the first of its kind in the UK, will see a partnership investment of £8.8m pay for detailed feasibility work to be completed before the junction improvement options can be considered.

Campaigners have said the upgrade would bring £220m in economic benefit to the region and generate new jobs, business and housing.

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