Monthly Archives: March 2015

Wisbech letters confirm funding for next steps

An exchange of letters has confirmed that the next step for delivering the railway line between March and Wisbech is secure. Eric Pickles (Local Government Minister) wrote to Greg Clark (Universities, Science and Cities) expressing support for the project. Greg Clark’s response confirmed that the money would be made available this year if the draft business case (GRIP 2) due in June confirms that the BCR is greater than 1.5. The local MP has advised that the BCR is expected to be between 1.9 and 3.7.

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Borders line should be extended to Carlisle

The Scottish Affairs Committee has called for the Borders Railway to be extended to Carlisle as part of a programme to deliver a better deal for people of the South of Scotland. The reports key recommendations have been summarised below with a key driver being that all stakeholders should work together to produce and action joint strategies where different but related areas sit within different governments and organisations remits because of their geographical location.

40. Given the cross-border nature of the economy in the south of Scotland, the Campaign for Borders Rail (CBR) sought the re-establishment of the through route between the central Borders, Hawick and Carlisle. They stated that a reinstated railway would “also serve a strategic purpose linking the region directly to cities in the north west of England”. We found support for this in principle from the Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce, local MPs and many MSPs and councillors, and note that the potential line of route had been protected from further adverse development in the local development plans of both Scottish Borders Council and Carlisle City & District Council.

41. We look forward to the re-opening of the Borders Railway link between Edinburgh and Galashiels. We urge the UK Government to work with the Scottish Government and with key agencies on both sides of the border to extend the Borders Railway southwards from Galashiels, to Hawick and on to Carlisle.

Source: Scottish Affairs Committee

Next steps for Portishead outlined

The next steps for the reopening of the railway line to Portishead have been outlined. During early Summer 2015, a public consultation will be held. It will allow stakeholders to raise concerns, provide their expectations and influence design. This feedback will contribute to the designs undertaken over summer. A second round of consultations will take place before the business case and outline design is produced and submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration in early 2016. Construction is expected to start Autumn 2017, with train services running from Spring 2019.

Source: North Somerset Times and North Somerset Council

Metro vision for Cambridge 1

Railfuture have published a report that considers the potential for a high frequency metro style service serving lines into Cambridge as part of the City Deal. The network would add to the East West Rail and Thameslink service enhancements by opening the route to Haverhill and reopening the Newmarket curve.

Railway stations are proposed at:

  • Soham
  • Fulbourn
  • Cherry Hinton
  • Coldhams Lane
  • Addenbrookes
  • Science Park
  • Waterbeach Barracks

Source: Railfuture