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Wisbech to March: A step closer to reality

Wisbech to March: A step closer to reality
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The towns of Wisbech and March in Cambridgeshire have long been campaigning for a rail link between the two towns. The existing Bramley Line, which once connected the two towns, was closed in the 1960s, and since then, residents have been calling for its reinstatement.

In recent years, there has been a renewed push for a rail link between Wisbech and March. In 2022, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority allocated £300,000 million to develop a feasibility study for the project.

Track south of Wisbech, June 2009 (source: Andy F – Wikimedia Commons)

Following the publication of the feasibility study, Network Rail has been assessing four options for a rail service between Wisbech and March:

  • Conventional rail: This option would involve reinstating the Bramley Line for conventional passenger trains.
  • Tram-train: This option would involve using tram-trains, which are a type of vehicle that can run on both tram tracks and railway lines.
  • Light rail: This option would involve using light rail vehicles, which are similar to trams but are designed for longer journeys.
  • Very light rail: This option would involve using very light rail vehicles, which are similar to trams but are smaller and more lightweight.

A rail link between Wisbech and March would have a number of benefits for the two towns and the surrounding area. These benefits would include:

  • Improved transport links: A rail link would provide a faster and more reliable way to travel between Wisbech, March and beyond. This would improve access to employment, education, and other services for residents of both towns.
  • Reduced congestion: A rail link would help to reduce congestion on the A47 between Wisbech and March. This would benefit both motorists and cyclists.
  • Economic regeneration: A rail link would help to regenerate the economies of Wisbech. This would be done by attracting new businesses and investment to the town, which is currently one of the largest in the UK without a station.
  • Environmental benefits: A rail link would help to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, moving closer towards the UK Government’s 2050 net-zero target.

The next steps for the Wisbech to March rail link are for Network Rail to make a decision on which option to proceed with, and for the government to allocate funding for the project. The Wisbech to March rail link is a long-awaited project that would have a number of benefits for the two towns and the surrounding area. We look forward to seeing the project progress in the coming years.

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