East West Rail Company to consider building new Cambourne railway station to the north
The East West Rail Company is to consider building the new Cambourne station to the north of the town, it has emerged.
A southern location was indicated when the preferred route for the new rail link was unveiled earlier this year , raising concerns about the environmental impact.
But after South Cambridgeshire’s MP Anthony Browne organised and chaired a meeting with the East West Rail Company at which 28 parish councils were represented, officials confirmed that they would examine the option to place it to the north near the A428.
The Conservative MP said: “East-West Rail is clearly listening to local opinion and I am delighted to hear they are considering a station north of Cambourne. I’m now calling on them to include any such option as part of a future public consultation.
“I believe there is a very powerful case for a station to the north of Cambourne, where it will avoid many much-loved areas of natural beauty and will provide better connections with other transport links, such as the A428.
“We need better public transport links through South Cambridgeshire, but it is important that any engagement is wide-ranging , transparent and happens as early on in this process as is possible. Residents have the right to know what they can expect from this project.”
Mr Browne said he had also written to the transport secretary on the station’s location.
Concerns over early electrification of the railway, potential timetabling issues and the environmental impact of the scheme were also raised at the meeting.
Yesterday (Tuesday), an East West Rail Company spokesperson told the Cambridge Independent: “The exact location of new stations has not yet been decided, and we will be working with local authorities and other stakeholders to make sure the locations work for local communities.
“We are exploring the option for a station in the north of Cambourne as we continue to develop route alignment options, prior to consulting the public early next year.”
Meanwhile, with Covid-19 preventing physical consultation events, the East West Rail Company has set up an online community hub ahead of the formal publication consultation in early 2021. The website - communityhub.eastwestrail.co.uk- offers communities a “one-stop-shop” on the project.
Newly-appointed community engagement manager Claire Keith-Anderson said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming residents all the way from Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford, Cambridge and the communities in between, to this new online space; and we want everyone to play a part in bringing forward a new sustainable railway connection that will help to secure the future prosperity of the whole area.
“Over the past few months, due to Covid, we haven’t been able to be out and about, talking face-to-face with local people. I know this has been disappointing for our team, so we’ve invested our time and energy thinking about ways to reach out and listen to communities across the area whatever else is going on in the world. The hub is a really innovative and exciting place for people to share information and ideas.“
Residents can also contact East West Rail Company:
- Online at eastwestrail.co.uk
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By phone: 0330 1340067
- By post: FREEPOST East West Rail
As well as learning about plans for the route, the site encourages visitors to feed into a definitive history of the Varsity Line by sharing memories about the line which once ran from Oxford to Cambridge.
The new £5bn rail line, due to open by the end of the decade, will run from Oxford to Cambridge via Milton Keynes and Bedford, with new stations north of Sandy/south of St Neots and in Cambourne. It is expected to link up with the new Cambridge South station.