New rail link and station move a step closer after backing from Government advisors

17 November 2017

A rail link connecting Cambridge and Oxford and a new station near Addenbrooke’s Hospital have both moved a step closer to becoming a reality after receiving backing from an independent transport body that advises Government.

The National Infrastructure Commission – who provide the Government with impartial, expert advice on major long-term transport challenges – published a report today (Friday 17 November) recommending the rail projects as priorities to deliver growth.

The report recommends accelerating the East-West Rail programme to open a new station at South Cambridge by 2022.

Other recommendations to help deliver growth and increase the rate of new homes being built also include:

  • The delivery of the new East-West Rail line connecting Oxford and Cambridge, unlocking the potential for substantial new developments: this includes accelerating its delivery from Bicester to Bedford by 2023, and from Bedford to Cambridge by 2030; and
  • Accelerating the development and construction of a link between the M1 and Oxford by 2030, as part of the proposed Oxford-Cambridge Expressway

Council leaders have said that their message to Government has been consistent and clear on the transport challenges in Greater Cambridge and that good quality transport links are vital to continuing the success story and delivering more jobs and homes.

Around 44,000 new jobs and 33,500 new homes are proposed for the Greater Cambridge area up until 2031 and further commitments around better transport links will unlock the area’s potential.
 
South Cambridgeshire District Council’s plan proposes building a new town north of Waterbeach, a new village at Bourn Airfield and an extension to Cambourne.

Cllr Peter Topping, leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “Our message to Government has been consistent and clear: growth, prosperity, new homes and new jobs all need the right transport links to keep South Cambridgeshire a great place to live and work. The report says that local leaders must commit to working collectively, with Government, to realise the economic potential of the arc to Oxford. We are 100 per cent on board and want to see if the ambitious timescales in it can be shortened. All the public bodies locally have been lobbying Government on these improvements and the recommendations that have been published on major investment are good steps forward. It is now about turning all the weight of support and need for these schemes into reality.

“We talked extensively with our communities through this summer and they have told us loud and clear that they also want to see the right transport links in place to support new housing ahead of development.

“Our transport challenges don’t finish there. The M11 and A14 Girton interchange is one such problem high on our agenda that we will continue to press for action on.”

Partnering for prosperity: a new deal for the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Arc published today can be found at: https://www.nic.org.uk/publications/partnering-prosperity-new-deal-cambridge-milton-keynes-oxford-arc/