MP Steve Barclay reports another significant step towards the reopening of the railway to Wisbech with the announcement that the County Council are commissioning a study to look at the wider economic benefits for the line including an assessment of the transformative effects of linking Wisbech to Cambridge.
“It is great news that the Council is now undertaking an official Wider Economic Benefit Review of reopening the line to Wisbech. Previous attempts to reconnect this line have been undermined because passenger forecasts as to usage were based on the number of people in Wisbech commuting to Cambridge.
This was deeply flawed because it ignored the transformative effect the rail line will have in that people who wouldn’t currently be willing to commute to Cambridge due to the long road journey would be willing to do so if there was a short train journey in a fraction of the time.
These previous assessments on passenger usage also took place before the decision was taken to build a new railway station at Cambridge Science Park which will also speed up journey times by avoiding the need to travel into Cambridge and then back out to the science park.
A third area that past studies were not able to take on board was the significant economic growth Cambridge has seen in recent years, in particular the hugely positive announcement last year that Astra Zeneca is relocating around 400 jobs from its Macclesfield site to one consolidated site at the Cambridge science park.”