Rail line was important once

Where does Mr Bennett get his information that the March - Wisbech railway line was never profitable and by inference was never useful?

He loses sight of the fact that it was part of integrated transport system and extended beyond Wisbech to King’s Lynn, once one of the busiest and most important towns in the kingdom.

In the Victorian era, railways were the dominant transport system and carried fuel, food and hardware the length and breadth of the country.

From Wisbech [GER] two further lines branched out to Wisbech docks and to Upwell. The line to Upwell had its own special locomotives to haul the enormous quantity of local horticultural produce that was sent daily to London and the industrial cities of the north.

All this traffic left Wisbech via the March - Wisbech railway and Wisbech’s prosperity depended on it. Mr Bennett seems to know all about the demise of goods traffic on the line. He should be well aware that the final goods traffic ceased because it was diverted elsewhere, not lost to rail because of cost.


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As Mr Bennett is obviously an expert in transport economics, he could explain why the persistent and expensive cost of the constabulary to police the roads, for accidents and seeking out those who should not be on the roads or whose vehicles should not be in use are never factored into road transport costs. Why is the cost of fire brigade ambulance and hospital services associated with road incidents is never evaluated and added to the road budget?

While he is doing that he might also explain how the cost of extensive road improvements for infrequent events, such as Grand Prix road race at Silverstone, could ever be justified on financial grounds. The expenditure on a these roads for day to day, year round usage basis will never be financially justified.

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PETER WRIGHT

March

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