Felixstowe port and railway benefit from EU grants

Port of Felixstowe
Image caption The new rail terminal is part of the expansion of the port which saw two new berths open in 2011

Rail links from east coast ports to the rest of England are to benefit from a further £12m (€14.8m) of grants from the European Union.

A grant of £10.4m (€12.4m) will be spent on a rail "chord" at Ipswich to allow freight trains to travel directly from Felixstowe to the Midlands.

This will create a link to the west coast mainline near Birmingham.

Grants also will help deepen ship channels off the Suffolk coast and contribute towards port cranes.

Vicky Ford, MEP for the East of England, said it would help to get freight off the A14 and onto the railway.

"I have been supporting upgrades for the freight rail links from Felixstowe to Nuneaton route since 2008," she said.

"Getting the money back from Brussels also frees up the UK's own funds which can then be used for more smaller-scale, local projects."

Siim Kallas, European Commission vice-president for transport, said: "Seaports like Felixstowe are vital gateways.

"We need to keep them and better connect them to Europe's major transport networks."

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