Return of Wisbech railway a step closer as budget of up to £1.5million agreed for study

This special excursion train on September 23 1978 was the first passenger train to leave the old Wis

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

The return of the railway to Wisbech is a step closer after funding was agreed for a study into the reinstatement of the line and a new town station.

Wisbech Railway Station pictured in its heyday.

Wisbech Railway Station pictured in its heyday. - Credit: Archant

Yesterday the board of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority approved a budget of £1.5million - £1.3million estimated cost and a £200,000 contingency fund - to look into building up a business case for bringing the railway back to Wisbech.

According to a report which went before the board: “This is a major new study to develop a business case and single option design for reinstating rail services between March and Wisbech which should consider onward connections and connectivity to Cambridge and Peterborough.

“The study will also consider lower cost, non-heavy rail alternatives. The study will be carried out for the Combined Authority and will be procured and managed by Cambridgeshire County Council on its behalf.”

It is estimated it will take nine months to complete the study

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According to the report, Network Rail and other “key stakeholders” will be directly involved, and the successful consultant will be expected to work with all interested parties in developing the scheme.

The Combined Authority says the scheme is a “priority for the development” of Wisbech, especially given hopes to expand the town into a “garden town” which could bring 10,000 to 12,000 extra homes over 25 years from 2020.

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The authority says better public transport is a must so as not to end up putting more and more cars onto the region’s roads.

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