Is Ely the biggest cost overshoot in Britain?
Headlines of spiralling costs and massive overruns on a project to upgrade lines around Ely, in the east of England, fail to grasp the scope of the works planned. Minor improvements to the existing infrastructure had been proposed, but the growth in traffic, principally serving the East Coast port of Felixstowe, have been reason enough for the infrastructure agency Network Rail to put much bigger plans out to public consultation. Those plans carry a much higher price tag, but would unlock vastly more capacity for freight and passenger traffic, both key elements in the UK government’s drive to a green economy.
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