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EPH Letter to SoS for Transport Louise Haigh MP - Transport Infrastructure in the East of England

On 10th July 2024, our Executive Director, Steven Lynch MBE, wrote to the new Secretary of State for Transport Louise Haigh MP, urging for a renewed focus on the transport infrastructure challenges that our region is facing.


In the letter, we are seeking a recommitment to the funding of the Ely Area Capacity Enhancement programme, and we relay the top 5 priorities we believe that the Department for Transport should begin working on the soonest.


You can find the full text of the letter below:


Dear Secretary of State,


RE: Transport Infrastructure in the East of England

 


Many congratulations on your recent election victory in Sheffield Heeley and your appointment as Secretary of State for Transport. We would like to welcome you to the region on behalf of the Eastern Powerhouse, a business-led membership body, that represents the entire East of England. Our core mission is to maximise the region's assets and unlock economic growth for local and national benefit.


We hope that you will work with us to promote our great region as a place that can offer huge opportunities for all. During the campaign you were sent a copy of our Manifesto for the East. The manifesto contains a number of proposals for transport infrastructure in the region which we hope your new government will embrace. We have summarised the immediate priorities below. 


The previous Government overlooked the East in favour of other regions (such as the Northern Powerhouse, The Midlands Engine, and the Western Gateway). We hope that your government, and the Department for Transport, will give the East of England the attention needed to help it grow and further contribute to the UK’s economy. We have long maintained that investment in the East will gain significant returns, not readily achievable elsewhere. The East is among the most productive areas of the UK, one of only three regions and nations that make a net contribution to the national economy. Delivering improved transport is key to unlocking this region’s full potential.


Unfortunately, the East of England has one of the poorest transport networks in the country. We welcome Labour’s ambitious plans to grow the economy. The East has a global advantage in a number of key industries, namely science, technology, and green energy, but we need a transport system that reflects this.


An immediate priority for the region is the Ely Area Capacity Enhancement programme. Improvements at this junction would unlock our rail network, enabling more frequent freight and passenger services across the region. We would appreciate your response to the previous funding commitments at Ely, and whether this strategic investment will be taken forward by your Department.


We would welcome an opportunity to meet with you and your team to further elaborate on our work to date, and the ideas that we have developed to improve transport in the region. 


We look forward to hearing from you.



Yours sincerely,

 

Steven Lynch MBE

Executive Director

Eastern Powerhouse

 

The immediate priorities for transport in the East

  1. The Ely Area Capacity Enhancement programme.

  2. The transformation of land around existing railway stations into vibrant business hubs across the region. We are currently working with local councils and network rail on the most viable options.

  3. Fully dualled carriageway: Of the A47 between Peterborough and Great Yarmouth, the A120 from Harwich via Colchester to Stansted and the M11, the A10 from Kings Lynn to Cambridge.

  4. Integrated transport systems: Devolved TfL-style powers to elected Mayors. 

  5. Extend Transport for the East to cover the whole Eastern region with a broader remit covering an integrated Eastern infrastructure strategy.

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