Rail blueprint to boost economies in eastern counties

A blueprint to improve rail transport in the east has been launched by MPs, business leaders, local authorities, enterprise partnerships and customers.

The group claims the existing rail network is holding back economic performance in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.

The campaign "alliance" has launched its ideas, Once in a Generation - a Rail Prospectus for East Anglia.

The prospectus claims that improvements could boost jobs and investment.

'Unlock billions'

In a statement the alliance said it was "a realistic and technically feasible programme of improvements between now and 2032.

"It will help create thousands of jobs and unlock billions of pounds of investment."

Improvements include upgrades to the Great Eastern Mainline and West Anglia lines into London Liverpool Street to boost capacity, reliability and speed.

The alliance wants Ely Junction improved to enable more frequent services from King's Lynn, Norwich, Cambridge, Peterborough, Ipswich and Stansted Airport.

New rolling stock, investment in the Felixstowe to Nuneaton freight corridor and an increase in line speeds and service frequency to serve growing population centres are also among the demands.

The prospectus is being supported by MPs from all four counties and a wide range of partners including: New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership; South East Local Enterprise Partnership; Greater Cambridgeshire Greater Peterborough Partnership; more than 25 local authorities and 19 rail user groups.

Other supporters include Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Essex Chambers of Commerce and the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce.

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