Campaign group is ready for East West Rail judicial review
A campaign group has successfully raised enough funds to pursue a judicial review against East West Rail should a route through Bassingbourn or neighbouring villages be approved.
Five route options for the central section of the East West Rail scheme, which is proposed to run from Oxford to Cambridge, have been published.
Of the five routes, four link to the existing station at Sandy. Three routes connect with Bassingbourn to the south-west of Cambridge, with the remaining two linking to Cambourne.
Concerns have been raised about the scheme’s environmental impact, with routes passing close to the RSPB The Lodge in Sandy, the National Trust’s Wimpole Hall, listed buildings and scheduled monuments.
CamBedRailRoad (CBRR) is campaigning for an option that enters Cambridge from the north.
Sebastian Kindersley, chairman of CBRR, said: “We have consistently promoted a northern route for the new Cambridge to Bedford railway link leaving Cambridge by Cambridge North Station. It calls at new stations at Northstowe, Cambourne, St Neots and Bedford. Our route connects large existing and proposed population centres with employment sites across Cambridgeshire.
“Running in the shadow of the A428, it minimises land take, environmental damage and community severance while reducing local road use very considerably. We have fiercely opposed the five proposals by EWR that all create a second corridor across the county, leaving one with no road, the other with no train.
“CamBedRailRoad’s proposal has met with widespread public support: from local people, parish and town councils, MPs and councillors. However, the route has been largely ignored by EWR.
“We are delighted to announce that our determined supporters have pledged sufficient funds for CBRR to be ready to launch a legal challenge. That is clear evidence of the strength of public feeling. People are determined that the railway meets the pressing needs of the region – but not at any cost.
“Our legal advisors are confident there are sufficient grounds that CBRR could overturn EWR’s flawed public consultation and force EWR to undertake a proper evaluation of the routes and a fair and balanced public consultation.”
CBRR expects a preferred route announcement shortly after the appointment of a new sponsoring minister.
For more on CamBedRailRoad go to cambedrailroad.org.
More by this authorGemma Gardner
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