King’s lynn to Peterborough rail link idea is floated

Steve Barclay MP meeting Peter Risebrow regarding Wisbech rail
Steve Barclay MP meeting Peter Risebrow regarding Wisbech rail

Ambitious proposals to improve train services in Lynn via a direct rail link with Peterborough have been welcomed by business leaders and local MPs.

A retired British Rail traffic manager has unveiled plans to open up West Norfolk and the Fens to the rest of the UK by creating a rail link between the two counties.

Peter Risebrow said the proposal would shave an hour off the journey time between Lynn and the Midlands and eliminate the existing need to change trains at Ely.

It would also provide a full half-hourly service from Lynn and Downham to London by diverting freight trains on to a new railway line.

Mr Risebrow says his proposal for a direct link between Lynn and Peterborough uses existing track between Wisbech and March, with a new proposed Wisbech station.

He has been working on the plans for about a year and has unveiled them now as work on the re-opening of the Wisbech to March line is already gathering pace.

He said: “I have been amazed at the support the proposal has already received.

“A lot of people might think the idea is far-fetched or ‘pie in the sky’, but it is achievable. I would really encourage people to have a look.”

The plan has been supported by North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay, who is planning to discuss it further with his neighbouring parliamentary colleagues, Liz Truss MP, Henry Bellingham MP and Stewart Jackson MP.

He said: “Peter highlighted how the Wisbech to March line could unlock a wider benefit by enabling a direct route between Lynn and Peterborough. Whilst some extra track will be needed, this would save an hour’s journey time between Lynn and Birmingham (it currently takes three-and-a-half hours). It would also enable a 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.”

Heather Garrod, president of West Norfolk Chamber Council, said: “Any steps that will improve accessibility and connectivity in West Norfolk are to be welcomed. The re-opening of the Wisbech line is an exciting proposition that should be considered. A direct service from Lynn to Wisbech will provide economic benefits to our region.”

The proposal has also been welcomed by Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk Council’s portfolio holder for culture, tourism and marketing, who said that if it brought more people in to the town it would be a positive move.

To view Mr Risebrow’s proposal in full visit Mr Barclay’s online blog at: http://stevebarclay.net/could-wisbech-station-open-up-a-direct-kings-lynn-to-peterborough-rail-link