Uncertainty grows over East West Rail

There are increasing doubts about the future of East West Rail linking Oxford and Cambridge, after transport secretary Grant Shapps said he would consider cancelling Phases 2 and 3.

Phase 2 will connect with the existing railway from Oxford at Bicester, and then use the route of an abandoned line to take trains on to Bletchley, where a newly-built flyover takes EWR over the West Coast Main Line. Trains would be able to join the main line at Bletchley to travel on to Milton Keynes Central, and there would also be a direct connection with the existing Bletchley to Bedford line.

Phase 3, which is still at the planning stage, would involve building a new railway east of Bedford which would go on to Cambridge. The proposed route through South Cambridgeshire is proving controversial.

Work is well under way building the Bicester-Bletchley section, and planning is also in progress for an ambitious upgrade of the Bletchley-Bedford line to improve capacity.

Bedford MP Mohammad Yasin has put down a question in the House of Commons, which asks transport secretary Grant Shapps ‘with reference to his comments in an interview with Iain Dale on LBC radio on 11 July 2022, whether he plans to cancel tranches 2 and 3 of East West Rail; and if he will make a statement’.

The Department for Transport has said only that a decision about the future of the project will be a matter for the new Prime Minister.

source= http://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2022/07/15-uncertainty-grows-over-east-west.html

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