Steve Barclay takes an opportunity to look further into the future at how a reopened line from March to Wisbech could be further extended to serve Kings Lynn to bring greater benefits to the region by allowing a direct Kings Lynn to Wisbech and Peterborough service.
Stephen Joseph OBE, Executive Director of Campaign for Better Transport says ‘It’s important to keep a focus on the reopening to Wisbech, and to make the wider economic case for that. However, it’s also important to plan for the longer term, and make sure that anything done now keeps the door open for future links, including potentially to Kings Lynn and Peterborough.’
We strongly agree with Mr Joseph’s point that the present project must not be delayed by attention being diverted to possible longer term considerations however important they could be. We believe station in Wisbech must be as close to the town centre as possible.
Steve Barclay’s article also gives an important update to progress on reopening the line from March to Wisbech, detailing a workshop in mid-October and a hope that Cambridgeshire County Council will at that point publish timescales for the way ahead. Reopening Wisbech to March with a direct service to Cambridge would also provide greatly improved journey options to Peterborough and beyond via a change of trains at March.
“Progress on the Wisbech line itself is continuing. Following the industry support identified at the recent Wisbech 2020 summit, Anglian Water, Motts/Grontmij and Skanska will be attending a technical workshop with Cambridgeshire County Council and FenlandDistrict Council on October 15th to bring their expertise to the project. I am particularly keen to see how their industry expertise can help drive down costs – for example to reduce the number of level crossings – which in turn will strengthen the business case.
After the October 15th industry / council technical workshop I hope Cambs County Council will then finally confirm the timescales for the high level engineering study (known as a Grip 2 study) which is the next step. Having secured government funding for this work I am keen to see it begin.”