Outline Business Case shows high value for money

wisbech_grip2Cambridgeshire County Council have published the GRIP 2 study for the reopening of the railway from March to Wisbech.

For a preferred option of two trains an hour from Wisbech to Cambridge, the Outline Business Case and GRIP2 documents show a Benefit to Cost Ratio (BCR) of 2.27 to 1, representing high value for money. When wider economic benefits are taken into account, the BCR could rise to around 4.41.

The Outline Business Case and GRIP 2 study can be downloaded here:
www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/info/20006/travel_roads_and_parking/68/transport_funding_bids_and_studies/3

“Current investigations into the case for reopening the railway between March and Wisbech commenced in 2012.

Following on from the initial work (detailed below), on 29 July 2015, we published an Outline Business Case and a GRIP 2 feasibility study. These documents demonstrate a positive case for investment at this stage of scheme development.

For a preferred option of two trains an hour from Wisbech to Cambridge, the Outline Business Case and GRIP2 documents show a Benefit to Cost Ratio (BCR) of 2.27 to 1, representing high value for money. When wider economic benefits are taken into account, the BCR could rise to around 4.41.

However, without additional work in the Ely area, it is unlikely that this service pattern could be achieved. A fallback option of one train an hour to Cambridge and one train an hour to March would be possible without further work at Ely. This option has a BCR of 1.37 to 1 (representing low value for money), rising to 3.37 to 1 when wider economic benefits are taken into account.

The figures quoted above assume a Town Centre Station; they increase slightly for a station south of the A47 due to the reduction in costs due to the removal of the cost of providing a bridge for the A47 over the railway. However, a town centre station would provide a greater level of wider economic benefits for Wisbech.

Governance for Railway Investment Projects (GRIP) is Network Rail’s management and control process for delivering projects on the railway, and has eight stages. The GRIP 2 Feasibility stage has now been completed for the March to Wisbech reopening.

The GRIP 2 study looks at potential scheme costs in some detail. Including risk and optimism bias (a factor allowing for an inherent tendency for scheme costs to be underestimated at early stages of development), the cost of reopening the line between March and Wisbech is estimated to range between £70m and £111m. The costings from the GRIP 2 study informed the Outline Business Case.

The next stage of the project is for a GRIP 3 Option Selection study and a Full Business Case for the scheme to be developed. This work is currently planned to commence in the autumn of 2015.”

Wisbech to 2020 and beyond

Reopening of the railway line between Wisbech and Cambridge is a key part of the plans for Wisbech to 2020 and beyond as described in a newly published document “Wisbech: beyond 2020…a place of great expectations”.

wisbech2020plus

“The overall proposed project of reopening of the current mothballed railway line between Wisbech and March to allow direct access to Cambridge, and onto Peterborough, Stansted Airport and London would make a significant contribution to the local economy of Wisbech and the surrounding areas. Furthermore, significant value is placed by residents on having access to both social and economic opportunities through the proposed rail service. Depending on the most suitable station location the benefit-cost ratio is looking favourable.”

 

 

The document can be downloaded here:
wisbechrail.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/wisbech2020v2.pdf

Response to Network Rail’s Long-term planning process

Anglia Route Study Consultation ResponseThe coalition of businesses in the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership area have responded to Network Rail’s Long-term planning process consultation to stress the importance of reopening the Wisbech to March railway. The response outlines the Strategic case, economic case and commercial case and can be downloaded here Anglia Route Study Consultation Response 030215

East Anglia rail franchise consultation

franchise_consultation

The Department for Transport are running a consultation for next East Anglia franchise; a valuable opportunity for local residents to express their support for the reopening of the Wisbech to March railway.

Question 3 asks:
Are there any changes to the current passenger rail service (i.e. number or trains per hour/day), as set out in paragraph 5.8, which you feel should be considered? If so, please explain your rationale. For example, please identify specific local factors which might influence the future level of passenger demand which you consider should be reflected in the specification.

It would be useful if you could respond to EAconsultation2014@railexecutive.gsi.gov.uk about the “East Anglia rail franchise consultation” saying the railway from March to Wisbech should be reopened and suggesting the service you would like to see provided; e.g. an hourly through rail service from Wisbech to Cambridge. This can be backed up by a comment about how this would benefit you and Wisbech.

For more information Steve Barclay describes the background to the consultation here including more ideas for rail improvements in Fenland: http://stevebarclay.net/speak-up-for-better-rail-service/

The consultation document can be downloaded here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/east-anglia-rail-passenger-franchise

Restoring rail link between Wisbech and Cambridge will create hundreds of jobs and slash commuting times

“Restoring a rail link between Wisbech and Cambridge will halve commuting times and create at least 230 jobs in the town, a report claims.

The Infrastructure for Growth document, which highlights the benefits improved traffic infrastructure can bring to Wisbech and the rest of Fenland, is being shared with senior ministers.

In addition, reopening the rail link, at a estimated cost of between £50-70million, will boost local incomes by £13million annually and lead to the building of more than 500 homes.

Raised incomes will come about through a combination of a number of factors, most significantly jobs, higher wages, more homes and higher house prices.

Re-connecting March and Wisbech forms a key part of the Wisbech 20/20 Vision, a joint Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council project to boost the town’s economy.”

“The economic case for reopening the line is compelling.”

http://www.cambstimes.co.uk/news/restoring_rail_link_between_wisbech_and_cambridge_will_create_hundreds_of_jobs_and_slash_commuting_times_report_claims_1_3918154

Wisbech Rail Petition still open

registersupport_petition

Please sign the petition here:
http://wisbechrail.org.uk/petition/

We have started an active campaign to gather more supporters following the launch of the Wisbech Rail Reopening lobby supported by businesses and councils.

Unfortunately we discovered a technical fault (which was fixed at 3pm today Wed 19th Nov) so have lost some of the signups in the last couple of months. If you have signed up over this period please do accept our apologies; we would appreciate it if you could sign up again. We will remove the duplicates. If you haven’t signed up yet then please do add you name and encourage your friends to.

Although the petition was handed to Cambridgeshire County Council on Tuesday 16th July 2013, with a total of 3784 supporters, 2907 from Cambridgeshire, we are still gathering new supporters and now have over 4000.