News release from 25/05/2021

Council responds to East West Rail consultation

Council responds to East West Rail consultation

Leading Councillors have said they support the principle of the Bedford to Cambridge section of East West Rail, but are calling for more detail to understand the local impacts of the scheme.

The plans for this national infrastructure project are being drawn up by the East West Rail Company, which was set up by the Department for Transport in 2018. East West Rail’s preferred option would see the railway, if it goes ahead, pass through parts of South Cambridgeshire such as Cambourne, Highfields Caldecote, the Eversdens, Harlton, Haslingfield, Hauxton and the Shelfords before eventually entering Cambridge from the south of the city.

The officer report highlights the need for further details on a range of technical issues such as noise and landscape impacts and the local impacts need to be explored and addressed.

The response from South Cambridgeshire District Council to East West Rail’s consultation was agreed at a Cabinet meeting yesterday (Monday 24 May 2021). It will now be finalised by the officer and Lead Member, considering members’ comments during the Cabinet meeting, before it is submitted to East West Rail.

Cllr Neil Gough, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Strategic Planning & Transport and Transformation & Projects said: “Back in 2018 we said that we supported the principle of the Bedford to Cambridge section of East West Rail, but at this stage significant further work is still needed to allow us to fully assess and provide further comment on the local impacts of the scheme. This is vital for the Council and our communities who have expressed significant concerns at the moment.

“To enable us, together with our communities, to make the most of the opportunity that the railway brings, and to effectively address the impacts it will have, we are encouraging East West Rail to engage further with the Council and with local communities to understand residents’ concerns.

“What is clear is that the new railway has the potential to bring significant change and opportunity to South Cambridgeshire communities. It is vital that the East-West Railway Company continue to work closely with local councillors, officers and residents so that everyone’s views are heard as part of the process.”

East West Rail’s consultation runs from 31 March 2021, until 9 June 2021 and covers a range of topics including the overall customer experience of the future railway, and a range of infrastructure proposals - such as the route, new stations and level crossings. South Cambridgeshire District Council is a statutory consultee and will submit a response as part of the consultation and through the planning process. Members of the public can view the consultation and submit their own comments via the East West Rail website