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Lincolnshire Free Press letters - Tuesday, May 28, 2019


Consider rebuilding the March to Spalding rail link

The old has gone, the new has come... well not quite yet! But the railway, closed in approximately 1983 should be considered for rebuilding.

This could be done now, if the will and way can be found. It does not mean using every inch of the former railway, some of which has been severely blocked or compromised, but the old route could form a basis of a new railway surely with realignments and deviations where blockages now exist? That is an area where a study could look.

Why reopen? Linking the two distinct towns and also regional links means that this missing rail link corridor would provide handy communications, linking key areas with differing needs to mutual benefit.

Our desire is to carry people with us and inform a ground swell of support for the rail link to be restored. Given 4,000 more houses going in around the area, the question of 2.5 cars per household - there being little other choice - raises the question of where will that traffic all go?

Roads are congestion, parking and land use allocation is at a premium and given these trends have bedded in since the closure over 35 years ago, we need to think where do we wish to be heading in five, 10 or indeed the next 30 years’ time?

Clearly trends cannot go on as they are left to a laissez faire market solves everything outcome.

We plan for housing, can we plan for the consequences which could and should include restored public transport infrastructure as the rail link could inform?

We wish to see fostered a dialogue with local authorities and MPs at all tiers of representation and by agreeing a new railway is a good idea, we agree the principle and if the principle is correct, then to form consortia and pool resources and invest in a robust case making study or studies to make the case and inform a platform to take it to the next stage - the consortium would include rail industry as well - to the Network Rail GRIP processes and Department for Transport/Whitehall backing as a regional and local investment.

Taking Cowbit as an example, if we deviate around the location now, lands need to be protected to keep a railway option open and a new station on the edge of the ‘now’ town could be provided for local and longer distance commutes in and out.

In 10 years’ time, the current cordon will expand and so deciding the principle of intent for a railway now, means we can plan to include lands for realignment and thus a railway going forward.

Deeping St Nicholas has been called for to have a new station.

Whilst the proposed rail depot seems to have gone quiet, the upsurge of freight using current lines would indicate sidings at some location for waitover trains and stabling will be required and the new under pass north of Peterborough at £100 million, precludes growth and a more direct line could save a lot of time and adds to the case for the railway.

At the March end, maybe if Whitemoor Prison cannot be amended to make way for a restored railway, you could look at a new spur off the old Wisbech line (another reopening) from which a new link to the Spalding line could be established and share station access together?

These finer details need to be examined.

On Deeping St Nicholas, the point of some rail access there is because the original junction west of built Spalding is blocked with housing, so a new junction to the west and a new build accordingly is required.

Should be do-able now, but needs planning support for future fostering alongside the effort needed to bring a new railway about.

We at ERTA are about planting ideas and helping promote them, we need local councils and MPs to help form a consortium to pool resources and help take the project forward. We are not resourced to do it ourselves. We commit to facilitate Forums to help bring people together.

Richard Pill

English Regional Transport

John Elson's Free Press cartoon (11527178)
John Elson's Free Press cartoon (11527178)


Has anyone got copy of book?

In 2011 you published an article on Margaret Johnson who had written a book entitled, The Life and Travels of Dr J.A.C. Smith.

As part of my research on the Duke of Bedford’s Exploration of China in the early 1900s - in which Dr Smith from Spalding took part - I have been trying to obtain a copy of the book which was only available from local outlets.

So far I have failed and wondered if a reader had one I could buy or borrow, or could put me in touch with the author.

Dr Smith, a medical missionary during turbulent times in China, medical officer in the First World War and ships’ doctor, died on a visit to New Zealand in 1929.

You can contact me through my website: zoologyweblog.blogspot.com.

Malcolm Peaker

via email


Make a splash for meningitis

Meningitis Now and the Swimming Teachers Association would like to invite parents and their children to take part in a new water-based challenge to help us fight deadly meningitis.

Splash Now can be held in your local pool during swimming lessons, in a paddling pool in your back garden, in the sea – anywhere, as long as it involves water.

All we ask is that participants use the opportunity to raise some money for Meningitis Now and raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of the disease.

We think this could be a really fun way to encourage babies, toddlers and older children to get involved in swimming or just to enjoy cooling down on a hot summer’s day as well as to help us to support families that have been impacted by meningitis.

To find out more and to register for the event please visit our fundraising pages on the Meningitis Now website: www.meningitisnow.org

Kat Hollywell

Meningitis Now

Thanks to all our volunteers

Across Lincolnshire are amazing people who are helping to transform young lives by taking action with The Children’s Society. This Volunteers Week (June 1-7) we would like to thank each and every one of them.

Right now there are 3,449 children living in Lincolnshire classed as children ‘in need’ and sadly this number continues to increase steadily.

We help thousands of children and young people in many different ways; including those affected by poverty, mental health issues and victims of criminal or sexual exploitation.

In the past year nearly 10,000 volunteers gave us their time, contributing an incredible 478,000 hours. There are a variety of ways to help, from supporting young people directly in our services, volunteering in our shops, organising events, taking part in challenges, campaigning, donating, or increasing local awareness of our work.

If you are inspired to get involved, contact us on 0300 303 7000 or supportercare@childrenssocety.org.uk - we’d love to talk to you.

The need is great and every hour volunteered, every campaign action taken, every donation made makes a real difference.

Nick Roseveare

CEO The Children’s Society

Cat charity says ‘thanks’

This Volunteers Week (1-7 June), I would like to take the opportunity to thank our fantastic volunteers who give so much of their time, skill and dedication for the benefit of cats in our care.

At Cats Protection we were grateful to involve over 11,200 volunteers during 2018. Volunteers are truly the foundation and life-blood of the charity. Whether volunteering in our shops or populating our social media channels; researching advocacy campaigns or fostering kittens, they ensure that every day we move closer to our vision of a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.

Without them, we would not have been able to help rehome or reunite 44,000 cats and neuter around 143,000. Nor would we have delivered 1,693 education talks to 52,343 people. They are vital to every aspect of everything we achieve.

I would also like to thank players of People’s Postcode Lottery who are supporting volunteering across England, Scotland and Wales. Their support for our Volunteer Team Leaders means that we can share best practice through our adoption centres and out to our network of volunteer branches and shops.

We will be sharing a new animation for Volunteers’ Week on our social media channels about the many roles available with us and would love to hear from cat lovers who would like to help cats locally. They can visit www.cats.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering to find out more.

Julie Meredith

Cats Protection

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