MP Barclay pushing for government funding for Wisbech rail link study

16:10 15 April 2014

MP Steve Barclay at a Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) briefing event in Westminster

MP Steve Barclay at a Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) briefing event in Westminster

Archant

A series of meetings have been held to discuss funding for a study into a train line between March and Wisbech.

MP Steve Barclay met with Cabinet Minister Greg Clark to discuss government funding for a study to see how Network Rail could deliver the project.

He also met with the special adviser to Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin to discuss funding options from the Department for Transport.

Mr Barclay said: “Mr Clark was supportive of the scheme and thought it was a very interesting and positive project.”

The meetings follow on from a report last week which said re-opening the rail-link has a strong economic case.

The combined report by independent consultants Atkins Ltd and Mott MacDonald, commissioned by Cambridgeshire County Council, said reconnecting Wisbech to the rail network has a Benefit-Cost Ratio of three, which is higher than the HS2 rail link’s ratio of 2.3.

This means that for every £1 spent the line is expected to return £3 in benefits.

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have put a bid in for central government spending for the line.

Mr Barclay added: “It is vital that we maintain the pressure now that we know the rail-link has such a high Benefit-Cost Ratio and I will be continuing to meet with those various individuals and bodies who can help in the campaign to get the line re-opened.

“The key next step is securing funding for National Rail’s engineering study, which could start as early as July.”

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