Mayor Dr Nik Johnson’s statement following the Government’s commitment to transforming Ely Junction
So many of us here in the East of England have been championing an upgraded Ely Junction for many years, so today’s confirmation that we can at last get to work will be widely welcomed.
This is a major investment in vital infrastructure that we have campaigned long and hard for. It’s a huge opportunity, not just for our region’s residents and local economy, but also nationwide.
Locally, it means greater rail connectivity across the East of England, boosting travel for leisure, tourism, and industry. Nationally, upgrading this out of date junction will connect major international ports in Felixstowe and London with distribution hubs in the Midlands, the North, and beyond.
Crucially, in allowing more goods to be transported by freight, an upgraded Ely Junction removes 98,000 lorries from the road each year. As well as massively improving air quality, and reducing CO2 emissions, this work will also reduce congestion by 5.6 million hours annually, including on critical routes like the A14.
Campaigners have long pointed out that to upgrade Ely Junction is to back British business. With that in mind, earlier this year, I co-chaired the Combined Authority’s Rail Summit, bringing together stakeholders from across the nation to push for government support. Over 45 politicians, chief executives, business leaders, industry leaders and campaigners added their signature to our letter to the Chancellor and Rail Minister calling for the much-needed upgrade, and today we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief at our achievement.
That said, whilst much of this success comes off the back of years of invaluable work for which I thank everyone involved, it is a great shame that we are not able to jointly celebrate with HS2 colleagues on what could and should have been another invaluable investment in our national infrastructure.
I and the Combined Authority stand ready to work with Government and stakeholders to make today’s announcement a reality for the residents and business of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough and beyond.