The profile of the Wisbech Rail Reopening scheme has been raised to a national level by Steve Barclay hosting a summit in parliament with Transport Minister, Stephen Hammond and a host of political leaders and rail experts. The transport minister descibed the reopening as “a strategic priority”. This is another very significant step towards the reopening.
Here are a collection of reports and quotes about the summit.
Reopening the railway line to Wisbech is “a strategic priority”, the transport minister Stephen Hammond told a special rail summit held in Westminster.
BBC Look East reports http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-26545969
Martin Curtis Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council talking to Chris Mann on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
Chris Mann: Why is this so important?
Martin Curtis: Well first of all we all know that we’ve got within the Cambridgeshire area, and if you include Peterborough with that, we’ve got two of the fastest growing cities in the country. And what we need to be doing now is finding a way of connecting up the rest of the County to see that they benefit from that, and in fact the wider economic area as well. So the Wisbech to March rail link, one of the things that it will do is as we have that growing Cambridge economy, it will pull Wisbech into the travel-to-work area for Cambridge. But also the reverse side is true as well. It will unlock the tourism potential of Wisbech as well. So that’s why it’s important.
Video: Progress on Wisbech line with Parliamentary Rail Summit
Yesterday marked an important step forward in the campaign to reconnect Wisbech to the rail network with a meeting in Parliament with Transport Minister, Stephen Hammond and a host of political leaders and rail experts.
The most positive aspect of the meeting was the clear indication from Mr Hammond that he ‘recognised reopening this line is considered a strategic priority.’ He made clear that transport schemes can be accelerated where there is strong political and business will to do so.
Mr Hammond also signalled that he particularly valued a bottom-up approach where local expertise informs rail priorities and that he was keen to work with the promoters of this scheme moving forward.
It is extremely positive following the enhanced work undertaken by Cambridgeshire County Council on the wider economic benefits case, to now have such a clear steer from the Minister that the Wisbech line could be prioritised with a view to starting in 2017 if locally we are united and present a strong value for money business case.
Wisbech Standard: Most positive aspect of Wisbech to March rail summit the fact Transport Minister considered it “a strategic priority”
BBC News: Hopes boosted for the reopening of the Wisbech line
Cambs Time: At £50m could the final cost of re-opening the Wisbech to March rail line prove to be a bridge too far?
Railfuture, who are leading the “Wisbech Rail Reopening Campign” welcomes this summit which will bring stakeholders together to form the partnership which is essential for any rail development proposal to succeed.