South Cambs Tory hopeful Anthony Browne backs rail stop at Cambourne
A former adviser to the Prime Minister has stepped into the debate over the East-West rail route, urging the secretary of state for transport to build a new station at Cambourne.
Anthony Browne, who is the Conservatives’ prospective parliamentary candidate for South Cambridgeshire after Heidi Allen left the party, has advised secretary of state Grant Shapps to choose Cambourne as the preferred rail route through Cambridgeshire.
In a letter to Mr Shapps, he wrote: “I support the East-West rail line project, but in the South Cambridgeshire area it can either take a northern route or a southern route.
“It is imperative that it takes the northern route with a stop at Cambourne, rather than the southern route with a stop at Bassingbourn. The arguments for this are overwhelming.”
Those arguments are, he says, that Cambourne is a rapidly growing area with few transport links and that he feels the northern route could be built without much damage to existing communities. Meanwhile, he says, there is no commuting need for a stop at Bassingbourn, a rural village surrounded by agricultural land.
He added: “It is win-win. To choose Bassingbourn would be very unpopular in the constituency, but to choose Cambourne would be very popular.”
A spokesperson from East West Rail said: “We haven’t chosen our preferred option yet. We have said we will make that announcement by the end of the year.”
Mr Browne, a former journalist, was policy director for economic development for Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London.