NOW GUIDED BUS IS NEARLY OUT OF THE WAY, CAN COUNTY HELP DELIVER FEN RAIL LINK?

PUBLISHED: 15:44 17 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:06 02 June 2010

DON T hold your breath, don t start checking the price of a return ticket, and most certainly don t even begin to think its going to happen soon. That aside, however, there is a glimmer of hope in the prospects for the re-opening of the Wisbech to March r

DON'T hold your breath, don't start checking the price of a return ticket, and most certainly don't even begin to think its going to happen soon.

That aside, however, there is a glimmer of hope in the prospects for the re-opening of the Wisbech to March rail line.

The Association of Train Operating Companies says the line ought to re-open but grandiose though they sound, in reality they are not the body with the cash to do so.

What they are is the body which represents the rail companies and provide critical information to Governments as to where investment should happen. As such their words, which may not speak louder than actions, do have the capacity to stir the political pot, and they are doing very nicely in respect of Fenland.

Indeed on Monday Malcolm Moss, MP, his possible successor, Steve Barclay, and Jill Tuck, leader of the county council, will be meeting up at March Rail Station to look at the possibilities.

ATOC has come up with 14 schemes to re-open lines and stations closed by Richard Beeching in the 1960s, and Wisbech crept into the list by virtue of its population, growth potential and requirement to improve communications.

That it is on the list at all may well be, in part, due to the efforts of the tireless volunteers of the Bramley Line who have kept, in recent years, the dream alive.

How quickly ATOC can persuade either a Labour or Conservative Government to help fund the scheme is uncertain but given the emphasis being placed on improving Fenland across all political streams, this looks certain to achieve widespread support.

Cambridgeshire has just undertaken the hugely ambitious, and mightily expensive, guided bus way: now let's see if they can find the clout to deliver something of equal merit to the relatively impoverished northern part of the county.


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