Felixstowe: Green light for new freight link

ipswich: Millions of tonnes of freight from Felixstowe is set to switch from the road to the rails after the government gave permission for a new �35million chord to be built at Ipswich.

It is one of a number of improvements to the cross-country line between Suffolk and Nuneaton allowing freight to move from Felixstowe without having to go around London.

The new Ipswich Chord, behind the former Harris Bacon factory on Hadleigh Road, had been approved by the former government, but it was then reconsidered in the new government’s spending review.

This month Transport Minister Theresa Villiers confirmed to Ipswich MP Ben Gummer that the new link had been given the go-ahead.

He said today: “This is excellent news for the town – it means that the two major projects I said were vital, this and the remodelling of the town centre traffic, have both been approved by the new government.”

Work on the new rail chord is due to start in 2012 and it should be open two years later.

Network Rail is also installing more double track near Ely and building a new rail flyover at Nuneaton to allow much more freight to use the cross-country line.

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Andrew Munden, Network Rail route director for Anglia, said: “Britain relies on rail freight and Anglia’s railways are playing a crucial role in the country’s economic recovery.”

By 2030 it is estimated that the cross-country rail line from Felixstowe will take 750,000 lorries a year off the roads – Network Rail says that every freight train can take up to 60 lorries off the road and produce 76 per cent less carbon emissions.

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