East West Rail

Plans are being developed for a rail link between Cambridge and Bedford, as part of a wider reinstatement of a railway line between Cambridge and Oxford (which was called the “Varsity Line”).  This brings a number of opportunities for residents of Royston as well as some concerns that we believe should be addressed.  The organisation set up to deliver this new rail infrastructure, the East West Railway Company, has recently asked local residents for their views on a number of route options.  We decided to make the following response:

East West Rail Route Options consultation
Response from Royston Liberal Democrat Councillors
11th March 2019

We write to you as Town, District and County Councillors for Royston, speaking independently of our respective councils.

We are supportive of the principle of improving transport connections in our local area, and we positively welcome increased rail connectivity as a sustainable transport solution in preference to construction or widening of roads.

However, we have two main concerns:

1. We are concerned about the prospect of a new town of 100,000 people being built at Bassingbourn. It can be assumed that a number of the residents of this new town will commute to London, which will require substantial infrastructure improvements in Royston which are not specified in the consultation documents. Examples of these improvements include additional rail services into London, improved car parking at Royston station and a cycle route linking the two towns including a bridge over the A505.

We therefore oppose routes A, C and D unless a detailed plan for the required infrastructure improvements in Royston can be provided.

2. We are also concerned about the potential impact on railway capacity into Cambridge. We understand that capacity at Cambridge is already limiting Royston services so any works to bring a further connection into Cambridge will need to expand capacity for the existing routes as well as accommodate the new route.

We therefore have concerns about (but do not specifically oppose) routes A, B, C, D and E unless rail capacity is improved in the required manner.

Thomas Perry (Town Councillor for Royston Town South)
Carol Stanier (Town Councillor for Royston Town South)
Steve Jarvis (County Councillor for Royston West and Rural)
Ruth Brown (District and Town Councillor for Royston Heath and Royston Town West)
Emma Squire-Smith (Town Councillor for Royston Town West)