Monthly Archives: July 2013

Wisbech Rail Reopening Petition Presentation

Wisb pres 4 best edit

Tuesday 16 July saw Peter Wakefield, Chairman of Railfuture, East Anglia, present the 2907 signature petition for reopening the railway link from Wisbech to March and onwards. This took place Cambridgeshire CC HQ at Shire Hall to a full meeting of Councillors.

The photograph above shows the petition with some of the CC Councillors joining some Railfuture members. The 3784 shown on the posters is the total number signing the petition; 2907 from Cambridegshire, 493 from Norfolk and 384 signatures from friends and family in the rest of the country.

The full text of Peter Wakefield’s speech to the council is given below:

“Good morning councillors, thank you for letting me speak to you today. My name is Peter Wakefield and I am chairman of the East Anglia Branch of Railfuture. We campaign for better rail services and have been working with your officers regarding the design for Cambridge Science Park Station and other projects.

Today I want to present to you a petition with 2907 signatures from Cambridgeshire calling for the re-opening of the railway line to Wisbech with a direct service to Cambridge. Part of Wisbech is in Norfolk and there are another 493 signatures from there, with a further 384 signatures from friends and family in the rest of the country. 94% of the signatures from Cambridgeshire live in Fenland District, mainly from Wisbech but including strong support from March, Manea and other local villages.

Why do we want the line to re-open – it’s simple: to help economic regeneration of the area by linking it to the successful economy of the rest of Cambridgeshire.  A new rail service between Wisbech and Cambridge will not only benefit Wisbech but other towns as well by providing a better service to March, Manea and serving the possible new development at Waterbeach.

How do we achieve this: the county council is carrying out a three stage study looking at the case for reopening the line. The first study has already shown that the line can be operated profitably. Further work being done this summer will determine the costs of reopening the line. It is important that the County Council drive this scheme valuable scheme through as a priority and ensure it is included as a requirement in the next Greater Anglia rail franchise when it is re-let by the government in October 2016

Finally, may I add that we have had a message of support from the Mayor of Wisbech, Cllr Samantha Hoy. She is unable to attend today but she wishes to say that she and the Wisbech Town Council fully supports this petition.

Petitions tend to be negative, “don’t do this, stop that”. This however is a positive petition which has received overwhelmingly positive support that can benefit many people and I urge you to support it.”

For press articles about the presentation of the petition click here.

There are more photographs of the event in our photostream.

A copy of the petition document (with names redacted) can be downloaded here:
https://wisbechrail.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/wisbech-rail-reopening-campaign-petition-redacted.pdf

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March to Cambridge Rail Service Petition

Steve Barclay MP recently presented a petition with 700 supporters calling for an improvement to the rail service from March to Cambridge. At the moment the service at March is poor; for example the last train back from Cambridge is an early 9pm in the evening. This is an issue the Wisbech Rail Reopening Campaign has mentioned during its campaign; a Wisbech to Cambridge through service would provide March with much improved local rail service to Cambridge.

Follow these links for more information about the March to Cambridge petition:
http://www.cambstimes.co.uk/news/video_petition_calling_for_improved_rail_links_between_march_and_cambridge_receives_widespread_support_1_2285948
http://stevebarclay.net/presenting-march-cambridge-rail-services-petition-to-parliament/

Wisbech Rail Reopening Campaign petition presentation photo

3784

The Wisbech Rail Reopening petition will be presented to Cambridgeshire County Council on Tuesday 16th July. There will be a photo opportunity for supporters at the entrance to Shire Hall at 10am. Please come and join us.

3784 people signed the petition in total. There are 2907 signatures from Cambridgeshire calling for the re-opening of the railway line to Wisbech with a direct service to Cambridge. Part of Wisbech is in Norfolk and there are another 493 signatures from there, with a further 384 signatures from friends and family in the rest of the country. 94% of the signatures from Cambridgeshire live in Fenland District, mainly from Wisbech but including strong support from March, Manea and other local villages.

Wisbech to March and Cambridge Railway Petition Press Release

Wisbech – March – Cambridge railway petition – Hand-Over Time!

The Wisbech Rail Reopening Campaign wisbechrail.org.uk is pleased to announce that Cambridgeshire County Council has accepted that this petition
can be presented to the full County Council (meeting at 10.30am) at 10.15am Tuesday July 16th 2013.

The petition is in support of Cambridgeshire County Council continuing development of the business case for reopening the 7 miles of railway from Wisbech to March to reconnect Wisbech to the national rail network and calls for the provision of an initial hourly Wisbech to Cambridge service. The petition campaign has created enormous interest in Wisbech and district. 3784 people signed it of whom 2907 live in Cambridgeshire. Most of the rest live cross – border adjacent to Wisbech in Norfolk and Lincolnshire with some being friends and relatives of Wisbech residents who live elsewhere in the UK.

Please also note that we delivered over 11000 leaflets to most households in built up area of Wisbech, on both sides of “the border” plus 800 in Manea and 1200 in March. The response rate in Wisbech was 25% per household, which we consider to be very positive. The number of households indicates to us that the true cross border population of Wisbech is around 33,000.

Additionally, on behalf of the petitioners in Fenland who have signed the petition, we have asked that the Fenland Members of Parliament in Cambridgeshire and Norfolk work together to make the case with appropriate Transport Minister to make sure the Wisbech reconnection to the nation rail network is put into the next Greater Anglia franchise as a commitment.

Ends.

Note to editors.
The railway line from Wisbech to March exists intact and its legal status is “not closed but mothballed”. The track and all land and legal ownership of it, is held by Network Rail on behalf of the nation.
A report issued in 2010 by the Association of Train Operating Companies and called “Connecting Communities”, found that reconnecting the Wisbech to March railway to the national network would be cost effective.
Cambridgeshire County Council is currently conducting a feasibility study with a view to establishing a business case for reopening the route. Stage 1 established that a large number of people would use a new Wisbech station.
More information can be found on our website, wisbechrail.org.uk
A copy of the petition document with an analysis of the results, maps and
copies of the leaflets (but with the petitioners’ names redacted) is
available here wisbechrail.org.uk/2013/07/08/petition-closes/
All information on it may be used without asking for permission.

Petition passed to Cambridegshire County Council with 3784 supporters

3784

The petition has now been passed to Cambridgeshire County Council with 3784 supporters. Many thanks for the huge level support for reopening the railway from March to Wisbech to provide a service of through trains from  Wisbech to Cambridge. We plan to formally present the petition to Cambridgeshire County Council on Tuesday 16th July 2013. You can still sign the form here https://wisbechrail.org.uk/petition/ to show your support for the reopening and request updates on the campaign by email.

You can download a copy of the petition document (with the names removed) by clicking on this link (PDF download). This includes information about the number of supporters in each electoral ward in the Wisbech area.