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Author Topic: Petitioners support reopening of Wisbech line  (Read 2773 times)
bobm
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« on: June 30, 2013, 08:38:17 am »

From the BBC

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Wisbech railway petition reaches milestone


The former Great Eastern Line track near Wisbech carried freight until 13 years ago

People petitioning for a rural town to be reconnected to the railway network said they have received more than 3,500 signatures to support their cause.

Wisbech station in Cambridgeshire was shut in 1968 after passenger services to March were discontinued.

Campaigners said the town had suffered socially and economically ever since and are calling for the rail link to be reinstated.

Their petition will be handed to the county council next month.

Christopher Burton said: "Wisbech is one of the few towns of its size to not have a train station.

"There is a lot of unemployment and most of the jobs in the area are in Cambridge.

"It's important that the link to Cambridge, and indeed on to London, can be fully restored."

Campaigners said they believed a direct train service to Cambridge would take approximately 40 minutes - much faster than a car journey or existing bus service.

Research by the Association of Train Operating Companies says the proposed services could serve one million passengers.
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2018, 08:50:27 pm »

Should the re-opened railway be brought to the town centre? Level crossing issues that remind me of Portishead

https://wisbechrail.org.uk/2018/03/20/location-of-the-site-of-a-new-wisbech-railway-station/

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Don’t short change us on the location of the site of a new Wisbech railway station

The Wisbech to March Railway crosses the Wisbech A47 bypass at grade about 2 miles towards March. Eventually this level crossing will have to be replaced by an road over-bridge. To avoid that cost some authorities have stated that Wisbech station should be at the A47 bypass, 2 miles from the town centre.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2020, 09:44:43 pm »

Wisbech is coming on ... getting more support.   But also worry that it will bring the wrong sort of business

From the Fenland Citizen

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Wisbech is only 100 miles from London, so with a reopened railway it could easily become a dumping ground for London’s rubbish.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2020, 08:13:34 pm »

Well...

Clearly Wisbech is a local town for local people...
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2020, 08:57:51 pm »

Good luck to Wisbech, but I have to say I think there are plenty of better rail reinstatement candidates out there.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2020, 10:11:39 pm »

Well...

Clearly Wisbech is a local town for local people...

All aboard the Pitchfork Express!
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ellendune
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2020, 08:06:51 am »

Except for the fact that the line is still in place, whereas the alternative has been obliterated, I would have said it would have been more sensible to reconstruct the branch to the junction on the Cambridge-Ely-Kings Lynn line. 
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2020, 11:55:54 am »

Yes, I think that's the problem with the current proposals.  As one poster over on Railforums put it:

"A proposal to re-open a railway costing £200m between two places that most people in Britain have never heard of (so presumably would never have any reason to use), with virtually no local traffic, to connect a place (Wisbech) to the one place (March) that very few of them want to go to. Yes, it connects them to the national railway network, but with a circuitous route to the places of desire (Peterborough and King's Lynn) which are much better served by bus. And this local train service will be extremely expensive to provide, with rolling stock costing 3 times as much as a bus and a two man crew with expensive terms and conditions. All because there happens to be a (long) disused track formation in place. Reality check please!"

I wouldn't be quite that dismissive myself - for example the route to Peterborough isn't that circuitous via March, but they are all points to consider.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2020, 12:44:06 pm »

The view expressed on Rail Forum is perhaps poorly-worded, but the thrust of it does actually make a lot of sense. Unfortunately, many campaigns for reopenings are based on little more than the fact that there was once a line there. Business cases are often over-exaggerated, which they often were when the lines were built in the first place, imagining traffic flows that are unlikely ever to materialise, and/or justifications based on pet projects being useful alternative routes. I will not upset the apple cart or go off-topic by naming them, but there at least a couple I can think of within the GWR’s extended patch.

I doubt that I would ever use a March to Wisbech service. The last time I stood on March station the depot still had an allocation of B1s and Flying PPigs, and the last time I passed through March by train, Ted Heath was still Prime Minister....

But what brought this thread to my attention was the “London’s rubbish” remark in the local press. Unfortunately, this is a prime example of non-news that the media like to report. There is nothing new in people thinking up spurious reasons to support their views on new proposals.

It is of course not just railways. People don’t like change. Any change, unless they reap some benefit from it for themselves, and sometimes they object even when they would benefit. I remember working a gig at a conservative club in Southampton in the early 90s where the then local MP, Christopher Chope was in attendance. He was getting his earhole bent all night by disgruntled constituents asking when the government was going to get its finger out and complete the M3 extension. Meanwhile Swampy and his merry band of pilgrims were digging themselves in on Twyford Down trying to stop them. We have people who complain about mobile phone masts whilst also whinging about poor signals. Every time a former railway line is proposed for conversion into a cycle route, some people seem convinced that cocaine addicts are going to materialise out of thin air and terrorise the locals in the cuttings. The list goes on.

Presumably the hack who wrote that piece is unaware that the country if full of places that are rail connected and about 100 miles from London (in fact I live in one of ‘em). Perhaps he or she can cite an example of the Armageddon that has happened elsewhere in support of the case?

Personally I think there’s more chance of London getting Wisbech’s rubbish than the other way round...
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2020, 01:09:22 pm »

With a level crossing that's like Portishead and with(out) an incinerator that's like Avonmouth, is Wisbech actually in Cambridgeshire? !!!
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« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2020, 02:39:51 pm »

but with a circuitous route to the places of desire (Peterborough and King's Lynn)
That must be the first time in quite a few years that Peterborough has been described as a place of desire.
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chuffed
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« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2020, 05:54:12 pm »

My last visit to the Posh some 3 years ago, necessitated a journey from the town centre to the Travelodge near the Passport Office opposite a large lesisure centre. Each night for 5 nights,travelling between the 2, I was offered a certain substance in a plastic packet by different people. And I'm portly, over 60 and a WASP... hardly promising material to be a drugs mule I would have thought.
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