Suffolk: MPs welcome decision on rail link to ease port congestion

THE news that a vital rail link has been approved that will lead to 750,000 fewer lorry journeys on the county’s roads each year has been hailed as “marvelous” by a Suffolk MP.

The Suffolk Chord rail link will be less than 1.5kilometres long but will alleviate a huge amount of freight traffic around Ipswich coming in and out of the Port of Felixstowe. The scheme, which links the Great Eastern Main line and East Suffolk Line railways and makes it easier to move freight by rail rather than road, was approved this week by the new Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said it was “marvellous news” and would be a double boost to businesses and travellers by reducing congestion on the rail and road networks.

She said: “It’s about taking the lorries off that small stretch of the A14 and will be a boost for passenger trains as well. I’m very pleased that the Secretary of State has approved this.”

Work on the �41million link, which will allow freight trains from Felixstowe to head north and west towards Peterborough without having to reverse at Ipswich, will start later this year and should be completed in 2014.

The construction of the railway includes: the widening of the embankment carrying the Great Eastern Main Line; reconstruction and widening of the bridge over Sproughton Road, Ipswich; a new railway bridge across the River Gipping; a new railway embankment on the south-eastern side of the river; and improvements to the existing railway bridge carrying the East Suffolk Line railway over the river.