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26 September 2014, 06:34
North East Cambridgeshire MP Stephen Barclay is backing calls for a direct Peterborough to King's Lynn rail link.
It's after Stephen Barclay heard about plans for the proposed new station at Wisbech to open up an even greater benefit for the Eastern region by enabling a King's Lynn to Peterborough direct service. This would speed up journeys to the Midlands and North, and reflect the significant population growth plans of the region.
Whilst some extra track will be needed, this would save an hour's journey time between Kings Lynn and Birmingham (it currently takes three and a half hours). It would also enable a King's Lynn to London service to run every half hour throughout the day from 2017 as opposed to being constrained at certain times by freight under existing plans.
A direct Kings Lynn to Peterborough via Wisbech service would also release pressure on the current bottleneck at Ely. It would immediately relieve Ely of four existing freight trains a day and, given the increased freight planned, absorb even more freight capacity in the future.
Looking proactively at the potential for rail between Wisbech and Kings Lynn also has potential highways benefits. There would be scope to undertake dualling of the A47 between Walton and Wisbech, change the A1101 roundabout, and address the accident hotspot at Broad End roundabout junction alongside planning the track.
Mr Barclay will discuss this proposal further with parliamentary colleagues, Liz Truss MP, Henry Bellingham MP and Stewart Jackson MP.
Ms Truss has already said 'I think this is an excellent proposal put forward by my neighbouring MP Steve Barclay and would have real economic benefits for the area. The opening up of connections to Wisbech will certainly complement existing key infrastructure.'
Stewart Jackson, MP for Peterborough said, 'I congratulate my colleague Steve Barclay MP on this campaign. Anything that improves the local transport infrastructure in North East Cambridgeshire is good for Peterborough and I look forward to working with my colleagues on this proposal.'
Mr Barclay has also been in discussions with Stephen Joseph OBE, Executive Director of Campaign for Better Transport who said, 'It's important to keep a focus on the reopening to Wisbech, and to make the wider economic case for that. However, it's also important to plan for the longer term, and make sure that anything done now keeps the door open for future links, including potentially to Kings Lynn and Peterborough.'