Rail report has limitations and perhaps a shorter, sharper more focused assessment was needed

YOU can pick at random such phrases as “ensuring the stations are attractive and inviting” and the hope of “an enhanced journey experience through bus and rail integration” but after several pages there is a danger of being de-railed.

Worthy though the 74 page ‘Getting on Track’ report is produced by Fenland Council and which sets out a commendable stall of rail initiatives for the next 20 years, we have serious doubts about much of it.

Not that 20 years isn’t a reasonable span to tackle major issues, but it is when it comes to tracking the minutiae of life which has improved access and signage to rail stations as a medium term objective and thus not realisable until 2018-2023.

Lengthening the platforms of Manea and Whittlesey which one might think to be an urgent requirement is confined to ‘long term actions’ and thus, in the report, becomes something we’d all like to see happen sometime between 2024 and 2031.

When you find paragraphs headed ‘informing the public and stakeholders on delivery progress’ and others repeating the largely discredited mantra from 2007 that tourism in Fenland is worth �110 million a year then you recognise the limitations of this report.

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There’s also little mention of the Bramley Line since the council says its role is to promote existing stations and is not charged with “delivering” new lines- a point that we suspect Wisbech councillors will take issue with.

We could have done with a shorter, sharper, more relevant journey.

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