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The County Council’s response to East West Rail (EWR) Company consultation will be discussed at the Economy and Environment Committee next week (14 March).

At the end of January EWR Company launched a consultation on the central section between Bedford and Cambridge outlining their proposals.

There are five route options and the council has to consider its response to the recommendations.

It is proposed that the council strongly supports the delivery of the EWR central section, the council wishes to see a route that provides fast connectivity between the East of England and Central England and supports housing and economic growth planned in the Oxford to Cambridge arc. Finally, the EWR central section should not duplicate existing plans to tackle transport demand from planned housing and economic growth.

The key recommendations to be discussed at committee include the council’s proposed preferred option being route A via Bedford South, Sandy and Bassingbourn, the council agreeing the central section should enter Cambridge from the south and to confirm the vital importance of the early delivery of Cambridge South station and four tracking between Cambridge Station and the Shepreth Branch junction.

Cllr Ian Bates, Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chairman of the Economy and Environment Committee, said: “We strongly support a new rail connection between Oxford and Cambridge and officers have gone through the options in detail looking at the key impacts and issues under consideration.

“Based on this work we propose from the five route options, option A is the favourite as it appears to provide the shortest journey times and is the lowest cost in comparison.

“We have looked at the proposals from a transport and highway view, and we’ll work with East West Rail Company and local authority partners, to consider what growth might be appropriate along any of the route options.”

illustration of the east west rail proposed routes

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