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Location of new Cambridge South railway station on Biomedical Campus is revealed

Cambridge South station location at Biomedical Campus. Picture: Network Rail (37057603)
Cambridge South station location at Biomedical Campus. Picture: Network Rail (37057603)

The preferred location for the new Cambridge South railway station has been revealed - and it is hoped that it could be open by 2025.

Network Rail has announced that Option 1 - the northern station location presented to the public earlier this year - is the chosen site.

It is proposed to be adjacent to the guided busway to provide a new transport route for patients, visitors and employees when travelling to and from the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “This is a significant step forward for the development of a new station serving Cambridge’s important biomedical campus and the southern fringe of the city.

“Selecting a preferred location will allow the development work to continue in more detail as we move towards a second round of public consultation later this year.

“This project continues to show what we can do when we work closely with external partners to develop the railway to the benefit of local communities and businesses and I am excited to see this continue as we head into the next phase of development.”

A six-week public consultation was held during January and February this year, with representatives of Network Rail arranging 10 events around the country for the public to comment on three location options between Addenbrooke’s Bridge and Nine Wells Bridge, and the associated access arrangements for each location.

There were almost 1,000 visitors to the events, with more than 960 comments in total.

The vast majority, 94 per cent, supported the need for the station, and of the three options presented, 55 per cent supported Option 1.

Network Rail will now proceed with further design development work, working closely with stakeholders and funders of the project including the Department for Transport, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, the Greater Cambridge Partnership and AstraZeneca Ltd.

A second round of public consultation is planned for later this year to seek feedback on the “architectural form of the station, construction elements such as construction routes and diversions, preliminary environmental impacts and the operational scheme”.

Netowork Rail expects to submit a Transport and Works Act Order to the Secretary of State for Transport in 2021 to obtain the consent to build the station.

Subject to gaining consent, work could start on the station in 2023 with a funder target of station opening in 2025.

Cambridge South station location options. Picture: Network Rail (37057605)
Cambridge South station location options. Picture: Network Rail (37057605)

Dr Andy Williams, AstraZeneca’s vice president for Cambridge strategy and operations, said: “As the development of Cambridge South station continues to gather momentum, we are delighted that the preferred location for the station has now been confirmed.

“This latest progress represents a key step in the journey towards the future provision of easier ways for thousands of patients, visitors and employees to reach the Cambridge Biomedical Campus each day.

“Not only will the station give people an alternative to the car, but we believe it will bring significant and sustainable benefits to the life science sector and the city.

“We will continue to work with Network Rail and other stakeholders to help deliver the station.”

James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “This is a very welcome step forward. Anything which brings this much-needed station closer is good news.

“This is the right place for commuters and we just need to see the pace kept up until the station is delivered and can start working for people.”

Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer, chair of the Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Executive Board, said: “Cambridge South will help unlock the full potential of the Greater Cambridge economy, linking up with existing public transport and other planned schemes so thousands of people heading to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus will have a quick and sustainable alternative to the car that cuts road congestion and improves air quality.

“The coronavirus will have a significant impact on our lives for some time but it is vital that we invest in better public transport, especially infrastructure such as this, that will help people get to work safely and quickly.”

South Cambridgeshire MP Anthony Browne MP said: “I am delighted that Network Rail has listened to residents and identified option one as the preferred location.

“Having campaigned hard for this station and welcomed the official funding announcement by the Chancellor in March, this update marks an important step towards completion. I will continue to

work with the Treasury, Department of Transport and the Combined Authority to ensure this ambitious project is successfully delivered by 2025.

“Commuters and patients alike are crying out for the quick and convenient access this station will provide. Alongside the new East West Rail link, this Government is delivering a bright future for our

region’s railways.”

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner said: “To keep Cambridge moving and build a sustainable city we need to invest in infrastructure. If we are to cut congestion and air pollution, then we need modern railway stations where people work.

“The government accept the need for a station at Addenbrooke’s, now we need a date for spades in the ground, and this is exactly the type of project that should be fast-tracked.”

Cllr Lewis Herbert, leader of Cambridge City Council, added: “Adding Cambridge South station will be a huge boost for train usage into and across Cambridge and enable well over half of all journeys to Addenbrooke’s and the Biomedical Campus to be non-car.

“What we now need as a firm financial commitment by government and Network Rail to honour the welcome ministerial promises in the last budget and a start date for the construction works to begin preferably well before 2025.”

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