Wisbech Town Council could vote as early as Monday on Bramley Line lease purchase

A BID to buy the lease of the disused Bramley rail line to March could be agreed as early as next Monday by Wisbech Town Council.

Town clerk Erbie Murat confirmed today that councillors will consider putting aside the cash next year to acquire a lease from Network Rail to take over the 12 mile stretch.

Mr Murat said �10,000 would be needed to buy the lease but legal costs 'will be significantly more'. One estimate is of a further �50,000 being required.

The clerk said a working party of councillors led by the leader Councillor David Oliver has been working towards making a bid for the line.

Councillors will be told that time is running out to solve the issue once and for all since Network Rail's legal requirement to maintain the line will shortly be removed.

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Wisbech Town Council will look for partners to move forward with their proposals including looking to the Bramley Line supporters group to help bring a scheme to fruition.

'Potential is the underlying factor,' said Mr Murat. 'It is huge, in lots of different ways for the people of Wisbech.'

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The town council, if they approve the lease purchase option, will approach the Heritage Lottery Fund for some of the finance needed to restore the line fully.

'From the council's point of view I think we would prefer to see it as a heritage line but opportunities possibly exist for some sort of regular service,' said Mr Murat

Councillors would be considering the proposals very carefully because of the 'significant financial implications' involved.

One report to councillors will come from Sue Dockett, a former treasurer of the Bramley Line, who says timing is of the essence.

'At present Network Rail has the liability for the maintenance of the crossings and bridges over the drains so they would save a lot of expense by getting ride of the line,' she said.

'Any transfer either by sale or lease involves the transfer of the legal powers to operate the railway.'

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