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East Anglian study ‘not enough’

A new government study on enhancing road and rail capacity in East Anglia is too narrow and should be broadened out to cover more road and rail projects, the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) told NCE this week.
Transport secretary Ruth Kelly said this week that the Department for Transport (DfT) would take forward a long-term study of capacity enhancements in the light of anticipated growth at Stansted Airport and new homes along the London to Cambridge corridor.

The study will focus on widening the M11 between Junctions 6 and 8 to four lanes and the West Anglia Main Line between London and Cambridge, including a four-track railway running from Tottenham Hale to Cheshunt.

However, EERA regional transport planner Tim Bellamy told NCE: "There are other routes that need to be assessed as well, such as the A12 and the A120. Also, the M11 beyond Junction 8 towards Cambridge is only dual carriageway, so there needs to be consideration of what can be done beyond Junction 8, otherwise you would be creating a bottleneck."

On rail, Bellamy said the need to enhance capacity on the Great East Anglia Line from London to Norwich was just as great following a modelling study by Atkins that showed the route would become increasingly overcrowded.

Announcing the study, Kelly said: "This work will take account of the forecast growth in the region… if this work determines that widening the M11 is needed, it has been agreed that Stansted Airport owner] BAA would contribute to the overall costs."

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