Work is steaming ahead to ensure essential engineering studies on the re-opening of the Wisbech rail-link are completed in time for the next round of funding.
It is welcome news that Cambridgeshire County Council transport bosses agreed to fast track work on the GRIP 2 engineering study, which will look at how Network Rail can deliver the project, during a high-level conference call.
I joined the call which also included Fenland District Council’s Chief Executive Paul Medd and Graham Hughes, Cambridgeshire’s Executive Director for Economy, Transport and Environment.
The County Council affirmed that it understood the urgency of completing the study by the end of February and agreed to push ahead with the work and promised that at the very least interim findings would be available by the spring deadline.
In the meantime it was also agreed to look at proceeding with the Grip 3 study, which would look at more detailed costings of the project, alongside the Grip 2 study, as that will also be needed if the project is to have a chance of funding.
I have been fighting to have the rail-link from Wisbech via March to Cambridge re-opened for the past four years, helping to secure funding for the Grip 2 study earlier this summer (see my blog on this subject), as well as hosting a rail summit at the House of Commons and meeting with transport ministers to discuss the project.
This is great news, we are making some very strong progress on this vital project. This time two years ago it looked very unlikely we would have a Wisbech rail-link. Since then we have secured funding for essential feasibility studies and momentum is building from all sides on working to make the railway a reality.