Northern and southern routes 'considered for Bedford to Cambridge rail corridor'

PUBLISHED: 15:10 13 January 2019

The proposed CBRR line (green) and the C2-2 line, which would impact rural South Cambs and Central Beds land if it was given the green light. Picture: CBRR

The proposed CBRR line (green) and the C2-2 line, which would impact rural South Cambs and Central Beds land if it was given the green light. Picture: CBRR

Archant

Ahead of a consultation due to commence imminently, it has emerged that a "northern and a southern route are being considered" for the central section of the East West Rail corridor between Bedford and Cambridge.

Up until now, it was thought that East West Railway Company’s C-corridor proposal was under consideration with the C2-2 option – via Bassingbourn Barracks, Whaddon, Shepreth and more of our villages – “preferred” by the Department for Transport.

Thinktank CamBedRailRoad introduced the plan for a northern corridor option – following the path of the A428 and A421 – as an alternative to the current ‘C-corridor’ proposal in late summer 2018.

However CamBedRailRoad’s Brian Bell attended the Westminster Forum held in London, where it’s understood that Rob Brighouse of East West Railway Company stated that they were considering a route to the north and a route to the south, with variations, for the central section from Bedford to Cambridge.

CBRR’s Philip Paxman has said: “This would be major departure from the official line adopted since July 2016 that only four routes, all in the C-corridor, running from Bedford via Sandy to join the East Coast Main Line at Shepreth, were under consideration and that, of those routes, Bassingbourn Barracks is both best performing and preferred.

“As advocates of a Northern route shadowing the Expressway and providing a sustainable travel alternative to the established and large new developments dependent on congested A421, A428 and A14 corridor, we do very much hope EWRCo have shifted their ground and will indeed put forward a Northern route option for public consultation.”

The Crow has contacted East West Rail asking for confirmation over Mr Brighouse’s statement, but has yet to receive a response. East West Railway Company has also declined to discuss details of routes being considered for consultation.

In November, the National infrastructure Commission’s ‘Partnering for Prosperity – A new deal for the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc’ report was released.

Recommendations in it included that “government should progress work through a single co-ordinated delivery programme, and should work with local authorities to put in place an independent design panel”.

A consultation is set to commence in “early 2018”.

Go to http://www.cambedrailroad.org for more on the think tank’s proposals.

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