Our Fenland towns face fundamental change

11:37 04 January 2013

WISBECH, formerly a byword in horticultural excellence, its diminished port long ago recognised as far away as the Baltic Sea and America, the famous riverside a Georgian attraction to tourists from far and near, has seen better times.

Nowadays the town struggles with the onset of crime and street drinking and no-one feels safe taking a stroll at night.

Nothing seems to be done about it. Even the characters have deserted the place. It is not the town I once knew.

March for most part seems to have been spared the image of drunken yobs.

Wisbech lost a couple of stations, the start of its decline, and March lost its marshalling yards of renown which Hitler decreed must not be destroyed. Beeching and his ilk thought otherwise.

Surprisingly the town’s railway phoenix spread its wings and the yards came to life again albeit differently, supplying ballast and with a recycling plant per excellence to boot.

Fenland District Council seems to think March should extend its boundaries and hundreds of homes be built.

But March has a vexing problem. Vast expansion of the town will bring about unacceptable traffic problems.

March’s already over-burdened internal infrastructure will not cope. As with so many smaller towns, such lack-vision stratagem is bound to fail.

No-one is willing to walk far these days. Hundreds of houses will be a gross mistake.

Why turn March into an increasing vehicular nightmare experienced by other small towns? That is the way to ruin communities.

Far better to revive the pre-war concept of creating new towns to accommodate the country’s extensive population and fulfill an obvious need but never to over-populate at the risk of increasing access difficulties and enhanced risks of crime.

Chatteris moves cautiously, no head-strong rush there and it is probably as well.

Whittlesey is divided by superstore arguments no thanks to the carelessness of local government.

We have not heard the last of this and when we do it will turn out to be a legal imposition against domestic ratepayers and businesses who have quite enough on their hands as it is.

TREVOR BEVIS

St Peter’s Road

March

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