Wisbech public asked whether they want a rail link

THE Wisbech public is being asked to vote on whether the town council spend your money on acquiring the lease on the rail link between Wisbech and March, known as the Bramley Line.

Wisbech Town Council have already agreed to add £20,000 onto next year’s council tax, under the umbrella heading of an asset acquisition budget.

This money could be spent on the first stages of acquiring the rail link lease or could be used to purchase other assets.

If the public vote ‘Yes’ in this consultation – which is being run solely through the Citizen – the council will move forward in their plans to acquire the rail link, which has been closed to passengers since 1968.

However, if the vote is ‘No’, the money will remain in the council coffers to be used for something else.

Town clerk Erbie Murat said there are a host of other things that could come under the term of acquisitions, such as the public toilets, Tourist Information Centre or town park.

But he is hoping the public will vote for the rail link and said: “This resource is going to be lost if we don’t do something quickly.”

Mr Murat has been talking to various groups and organisations, including Heritage Lottery, and said there is a lot of interest.

It could be set up initially as a heritage railway and then developed into a passenger line at a later stage.

Mr Murat has also been looking into what other things could go alongside the railway to boost tourism and use of the area. He is especially interested in establishing a country walk and cycle way between Wisbech and March.

“This is a long-term project,” Mr Murat said. “If Wisbech Town Council are successful in purchasing this rail link, we will then have meetings with all interested parties to establish what would be the best use for it.”

The rail line is a sensitive subject, with many people both for and against it. It is hoped this consultation will gauge the true feeling in Wisbech on whether the public feel it is a worthwhile project to pursue.

• To have your say, fill out the coupon in this week’s Citizen and return it as soon as possible to us at 11 Union Street, Wisbech, PE13 1DN. You can also email your vote to wisbechtc@aol.com, remembering to include your name, address and postcode.