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30 July 2015, 12:00
If you travel by train in north Cambridgeshire, you're about to be given a much bigger say over how services are being run.
Rail Minister Claire Perry says the government is now consulting on plans to designate the 29-mile route between Peterborough and Ely - known as the Hereward line - as a community rail service. This would allow the community to design train services according to local needs, which in turn would help increase passenger numbers, improve connectivity to key destinations and ultimately boost the local economy.
Rail Minister Claire Perry said:
"We know how important this line is to local communities in the rural Fenland area, and it’s right that passengers have a bigger say in shaping its future.
By designating the Hereward line as a community rail service, we can breathe new life into this route, ensure its long term future, and improve connections that will help grow the local economy."
If the plans go ahead, the train companies will continue to operate the service – which also calls at Whittlesea, March and Manea – with the support of the Hereward Community Rail Partnership. Infrastructure such as track and signalling would remain under the authority of Network Rail.
Community Rail Partnerships are made up of local councils, community groups and other volunteers, to decide how lines should be run. Research shows that Community Rail Partnerships are good value for money and support economic, social and environmental development in local areas.
The 8-week consultation runs until midnight on Friday 25 September 2015.
How to respond:
Write Simon Hankin
Rail Executive – Passenger Services
Department for Transport
4th floor, Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
LONDON SW1P 4DR