News release from 30/01/2020

Councillors welcome that the environment was key factor in East-West rail route decision

Leading Councillors have welcomed that the environment was a top consideration in deciding the East-West rail route.

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, made the announcement this morning that route E had been selected for the railway line linking Cambridge and Oxford.

The route via Cambourne was the option South Cambridgeshire District Council said should be chosen when asked during a consultation. Alternatives through the district were via Bassingbourn.

Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer, Deputy Leader and lead Cabinet Member for Strategic Infrastructure at South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “We are pleased and relieved that an announcement has finally been made on the route of East West Rail. We are also supportive of the decision to run the new railway from Bedford to Cambridge via Cambourne. We were told that one of the key factors in determining the route was the environmental opportunities that this option offers. Any project of this size has an impact, but overall it will offer huge scope for environmental enhancements, much of which be in South Cambridgeshire.

“The decision on whether this will be an electrified line has not yet been made but we are told that it will be a net zero carbon railway which is exactly what we would want as we move towards being a zero carbon district by 2050.”

Cllr Bridget Smith, Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “I have asked East-West Railway Company to work very closely with local councillors and officers, and to fully engage with all of our affected villages from the outset. This is vital so they know exactly what is going on and have every opportunity to input their views into the whole process.”