New rail group wants ideas and support to reinstate the Wisbech to March rail link

PUBLISHED: 12:40 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:41 08 March 2018

This special excursion train on September 23 1978 was the first passenger train to leave the old Wisbech Station for ten years.

This special excursion train on September 23 1978 was the first passenger train to leave the old Wisbech Station for ten years.

Archant

A newly-formed campaign group is urging transport bosses to bring the Wisbech to March rail link back into use as they seek help from the community.

The Wisbech Rail Consultative Group is encouraging people to get involved with the project, saying it is ‘on the cusp of success’.

Campaigners say that the service would provide growth in local towns and villages with transport connectivity, access to high quality jobs and educational opportunities.

The group will help coordinate ideas from the community in a bid to get the service – which last served as a passenger line 50 years ago – back up and running.

Peter Wakefield, chair of Wisbech Rail Consultative Group, said: “Wisbech is a vital part of Cambridgeshire with a huge part to play in helping grow its

economy sustainably.

“The Wisbech to March - Cambridge railway will provide a service for all Cambridgeshire that will support growth in March, Chatteris (via Manea), Ely and the A10 corridor into and through Cambridge.

“It will improve transport connectivity by giving Wisbech and Fenland resident’s access to high quality jobs all along the corridor and especially in Cambridge.

“It would also enhance quality of life by opening up the educational opportunities throughout the county for our young people and give safe access for all to the leisure opportunities throughout the corridor and Cambridge.”

He added: “It will improve transport opportunities that will strengthen and expand our local industries and enable and support new housing and development opportunities in Wisbech and Fenland.

“The Wisbechrail project has a good business case. Not only that, rail travel throughout East Anglia has increased by 4.4 per cent year on year for the last 10 years and shows no slackening.

“Around 2.2 million people now use Ely station each year. Ely has a population smaller than that of Wisbech.”

In recent years there has been considerable progress with the reopening of the campaign, with support from Steve Barclay MP, Cambridgeshire County Council, Government Ministers Chris Grayling, Greg Clarke, Sajid Javid, the Combined Authority Mayor James Palmer and all the stakeholders of Wisbech 20-20.

To get involved with the Wisbech Rail Consultative Group, with any ideas or suggestions, visit www.wisbechrail.org.uk and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WisbechRail or for more information see www.wisbechrail.org.uk/contact

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