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Sekoura Benissad, Chair of RIA Midlands & Eastern signs letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt urging for progression on Ely Junction

Railway Industry Association

2 min read Partner content

RIA Midlands & Eastern’s Chair, Sekoura Benissad has signed a letter to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt along with national, regional and local business leaders to call on the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Transport to approve the £466m required for Ely Area Capacity Enhancements (EACE).

The EACE will unlock economic growth, not just for the Midlands & Eastern local economy but also the North of England as well as boosting international trade.

Currently, the mixture of single-track sections, restricted speeds, level crossings and signalling limitations at Ely are creating a bottleneck at the junction. This significant barrier means that UK businesses are unable to import and export goods, via freight, and are turning to lorries, which are less reliable and worse for the environment.

Sekoura Benissad, Chair of RIA Midlands & Eastern said: “It is vitally important that the Chancellor and Transport Secretary push on with rail schemes like Ely Junction as well as the Midlands Rail Hub, HS2 and East West Rail.

“The upgrade of Ely Junction is a relatively low-cost scheme in terms of transport infrastructure projects but would reap huge benefits.

“There are many benefits of EACE as the scheme would support wide economic growth in the East of England, Midlands Engine, Northern Powerhouse and up into Scotland. EACE also supports the national priority of Rail Freight as is the most intensively used freight corridor in the UK but is facing bottlenecks prohibiting freight use. Importantly, EACE also reduces CO2 emissions by 1.7m tonnes and cuts congestion by removing 98,000 lorries off the roads each year.

"We look forward to seeing the Chancellor and Secretary of State’s response.”

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