Where did March go wrong? Much has been aired about the town’s infrastructure contributing to tailbacks in the town centre.
It’s a stalemate problem. More than a century ago someone had an idea. It was proposed to extend Broad Street along Robingoodfellows Lane in a direct line to the railway station. The extension on a narrower width to be set up with shops and houses. This was a practical idea but, at the same time, it might have included Flaggrass Hill road off Elm Road being improved and carrying it over the river and join up with the main road north of Wimblington.
Deerfield Road and Badgeney Road had not then been developed but what would have been a potential Eastern bypass failed to materialise which would have lessened March’s present-day infrastructure problems. For a long time March lacked foresight in an infrastructural sense. It never grasped initiatives to develop industrial sites around the railway yards east of the station and at Whitemoor.
The opportunity was there to raise the town’s image. Main reason for lack of development at March were attitudes of some farmers wanting to protect their interests as major employers. Some opposed the railway and additional industrial development. I suppose it was to be expected that farmers, some of who helped to drain the Fens, objected to rival industries. Some experienced bankruptcy and never recovered.
However, the railway, which bought fame to March, encouraged the county council to establish its headquarters at the town - much to the chagrin of other towns and the community was very much a white collar and blue collar fraternity. It still remains the administrative capital of Fenland. That was positive thinking and March benefitted but it missed several golden opportunities.