The reopening of the Wisbech to March railway line is moving closer to fruition as support gathers pace.
An announcement in the Rail Engineer magazine that the £100 million Wisbech scheme was ‘under development’, and set to be one of the next five rail reopenings in the UK, is the latest in a line of new endorsements.
It comes just weeks after The Economist newspaper said Wisbech was “expecting great things” as it hopes to add to the hundreds of miles of railways which have been restored in recent years.
The Local Government Secretary of State, Greg Clark, also pledged support for the Wisbech rail project when he visited the town at the end of March.
Campaigners say the endorsements show how the case to reinstate the line is being taken seriously.
Fenland MP Steve Barclay said: “A key aim with Wisbech railway was to maintain momentum with the campaign and therefore the recent visit from the Secretary of State for Local Government, followed by the endorsement in The Economist, together with the announcement from such an authoritative voice as the Rail Engineer, illustrates how the case is being made and taken seriously at the highest level of government.” Russell Beal, an executive for project supporters Anglian Water, added: “We’re delighted the project is gaining the support and profile it deserves.
“Reopening Wisbech’s rail line is key to the transformation and growth of the town.”
Mr Barclay said the next item on the Wisbech rail agenda is a meeting he is chairing at the House of Commons in a couple of weeks, with Network Rail, Cambridgeshire County Council and other parties, to discuss the issue of level crossings on the line.
He added: “It is now essential that the Cambridgeshire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) and other stakeholders demonstrate their commitment (to the scheme) by agreeing to fund the next level of study which is looking at signalling, timetabling and rolling stock.”