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Press Release 12 November 2003

The case for rail gathers strength

CAST.IRON, The Cambridge and St. Ives Railway Organisation, held the second in a series of public meetings on Tuesday 11th of November at Histon Junior School, The Green, Histon. Press Liaison Officer for CAST.IRON Charles Warner commented, "The attendance at this second public meeting has again exceeded our expectations. I think the issue of rail versus the guided bus is very strong particularly in the villages."

Tim Phillips, The Chairman of CAST.IRON told us that their were 78 members of the public present at the Histon meeting. He went on to say, "We gave members of the audience a questionnaire. We are in the process of analysing the statistics but in general it seems; the public do want a high quality transport system between Huntington and Cambridge but they would not want to see guided buses as the mode of transport."

Mr Phillips later asked the same question he asked at the first public meeting on the 4th of November at the Manor community College, "If we could provide a railway for less than the cost of the guided bus, would you in principle support the idea?". The audience voted by show of hands in favour of rail by 76 to two. One of those voting against was a Cambridgeshire County Council officer who is a project manager for the guided bus scheme.

The CAST.IRON organisation has been involved in a war of attrition with the Council, whose guided bus scheme will be voted on for the second time in December.

The Council has yet to apply for a Transport and Works Order, which is a bit like planning permission, from the Government. The application has already been delayed by three months. Mr Phillips told us, "The first County Council vote in September scraped in with 30 out of 59 in favour of the guided bus scheme. We only need to demonstrate to a few of those thirty that rail is available and viable and the abstainers will follow. There must be a majority of the full council for the application to go ahead. Now that there really is a cast iron case for rail, we expect the December vote to fail."

CAST.IRON's next public meeting will be held at Swavesey Village College, Gibraltar Lane, Cambridge on Wednesday 19th of November. The meeting starts at 7.30 with access from 7.15, when the public will be able to inspect displays of CAST.IRON's staged re-opening scheme.

A general overview of CAST.IRON's plans can be found on the website, www.castiron.org.uk

See Media Resources page for downloadable document with notes for editors.

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