SURPRISE TRAIN OPERATORS REPORT COULD HERALD RE-OPENING OF WISBECH RAIL LINK

PUBLISHED: 09:53 15 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:06 02 June 2010

Former Wisbech Rail Station

Former Wisbech Rail Station

WISBECH to March Rail line could re-open under dramatic plans announced today by the Association of Train Operating Companies. The line is one of only 14 across the country which the association believes should be re-opened and could herald an extraordina

WISBECH to March Rail line could re-open under dramatic plans announced today by the Association of Train Operating Companies.

The line is one of only 14 across the country which the association believes should be re-opened and could herald an extraordinary turn around in the fortunes of the Fens.

Chris Austin, author of the report, believes Wisbech is one of the large towns in Britain that "now generate large numbers of commuters who need to use the train".

The Mr Austin believes the total cost of the 14 schemes would be about £500 million and he believes that with support from both local and central government the proposals would be easily affordable and completed over the next 20 years.

The proposals will give credence to the campaign by the March-Wisbech Bramley Line who have campaigned for years to get the line between March and Wisbech re-opened.

Local Liberal Democrats were among the first to welcome calls by the Association for Train Operating Companies for investment in expanding the rail network.

"There is no doubt in our minds that the biggest brake on creating better paid jobs in Fenland is the lack of good communications," said their spokesman Martin Land.

"It's great to see that the Train Operators are now also pressing for investment in our local infrastructure. What a shame, at a time when increasing both rail passenger traffic and freight traffic are on the agenda, that out Tory-run County Council still hasn't reversed it's absurd decision to get rid of it's Rail Officer.

"The simple fact is that for both economic and environmental reasons, the Fens need improved infrastructure."

"How long is it before Fenlanders' realise that their biggest problem is not the economic will, but the Tory political won't?"

(The association says it is the voice of the passenger railway and represents train companies to the government, regulatory bodies, the media and other opinion formers on transport policy issues.

(It is the co-ordinator of joint activities for train operators, and is responsible for managing revenue allocation and settlement, impartial retailing, National Rail Enquiries, Railcard marketing, staff travel arrangements, international products, travel agent licensing, and for facilitating common train operator positions on many engineering and operational issues).


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