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Transport secretary Grant Shapps would ‘scrap East West Rail’

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Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said he would scrap the remaining stages of East West Rail to cut government spending.

Grant Shapps (57986045)
Grant Shapps (57986045)

Mr Shapps said the project would be the first to face the axe when asked what he would cut from the transport budget during an interview with LBC.

He said: “I would cut East West Rail on what’s called two and three - the second and third tranches of it - that would save three to five million pounds straight away.”

The interview was undertaken as the first in a series covering the contenders to replace Boris Johnson. Mr Shapps is now out of the running having failed to receive sufficient support and has declared his support for former chancellor Rishi Sunak.

The East West Rail route, expected to cost in the region of £5billion, is due to connect Oxford to Cambridge via Milton Keynes, Bedford and new stations at St Neots South/Tempsford and Cambourne.

East West Rail Company favours a southern approach into the city for the line, which would link up with the forthcoming Cambridge South railway station at the fast-growing Biomedical Campus.

Villagers along the proposed route have expressed concern that it could split their communities and are alarmed by the prospect of high embankments.

Those in favour, meanwhile, argue a new rail line will be key to easing Cambridge’s congestion crisis, particularly with the high level of house-building due in the region.

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