Fenland is a very rural area of about 200 square miles. About 80 per cent of people live in the four towns of Wisbech, March, Whittlesey and Chatteris. The rest live in small villages and hamlets, spread across the district. 45% of people in work in Fenland travel to jobs outside the district.
Key transport challenges
Access to opportunity
A lack of joined up public transport for communities limits opportunities for people to better themselves through work and education. This makes tackling inequality and poverty in the region harder.
Bus services have reduced a lot over the last decade. Services run mainly run between towns, and do not run often enough to make it better than driving. Evening and weekend bus services are almost non-existent.
Lack of joined-up transport
Cycling and walking, buses, rail and community transport is not joined up, which means most people use a car to travel.
A very rural district and a lack of joined-up public transport options means that many people rely on cars. This in turn cuts demand for public transport, increases congestion and puts people off cycling and walking because of the busy roads. It also increases pollution, harming health and carbon emissions. 20 per cent of residents do not have access to a car, so many people are cut off from job and education opportunities, as well as important services like healthcare.
March, Whittlesey and Manea have stations, but only March has an hourly service between Cambridge, Peterborough and Stansted. Early morning and evening services are almost non-existent, meaning people can’t reliably use rail to go to and from work.
Fenland’s main roads are rural, single-carriageway A-roads. Key junctions in and around the market towns suffer peak time traffic congestion, costing people and the economy time and money.
How the draft LTCP aims to make transport in Fenland better
The proposed improvements to transport in Fenland are shown here:
Our approach to better transport in Fenland is summarised below. You can view the full strategy for Fenland here.
New Wisbech rail link
An innovative rail or ultra-light rail option to better connect Wisbech to onward journeys. It will be reliable, regular and be a better choice than the car.
Cut road bottlenecks
Work on improvements to the A47 have started, including looking at how to address capacity limits on the road. Improvements to busy junctions in Wisbech, better transport in March and the completion of the King’s Dyke crossing at Whittlesey will help cut congestion.
More cycling and walking
Fenland District Council adopted its Walking, Cycling and Mobility Aid Strategy in November 2021. This will improve walking and cycling in towns and villages and between the main towns.
Fenland District Council and Cambridgeshire County Council are developing a Fenland Transport Strategy, to find out exactly where transport is poor and then develop solutions.
More public transport use
Support more frequent bus services between key routes between Wisbech, Whittlesey, March, Chatteris, Peterborough and King Lynn.Ensure that these services are properly joined up and are also supported with community transport services like those offered by FACT and new Uber style services.
Regeneration of Fenland rail stations
Better facilities for users to encourage more people to use the train.