Improving east-west rail transport links in the UK is long overdue, centred as it remains on the existing main lines radiating out of London. Examples of need include
- the trans-pennine route connecting Manchester with York – still in high level planning
- poor quality infrastructure through Birmingham for trains from and to Nottingham, Leicester, Hereford and Worcester
Here in railway- and environment-oriented Romsey we’re definitely up for this type of enhancement and expansion to railway provision, both for passengers and freight. Rail freight can make a big contribution to climate change mitigation measures, producing as it does 6 times less CO2 than truck.
Plans are now being put in place to improve rail connectivity between Bedford, Cambridge and the container port at Felixstowe. East West Rail are at the design stage for the section between Bedford and Cambridge. The chosen route will have major implications for Cambridge residents. And all options currently on the table have trains (including freight trains):
- coming into Cambridge from the south
- passing through Cambridge Station
- exiting Cambridge via the existing branch line over Coldhams Common, through Cherry Hinton to Newmarket.
Slower freight trains don’t co-exist easily with daytime passenger services. To make the most of the available capacity, freight trains will need to run through the night.
We think it would be a bit silly to spend billions of pounds putting a new railway across Beds and Cambs only for it then to bring night time freight traffic through the heart of Cambridge, and to use this (pic) unfit for purpose piece of existing infrastructure to get the trains out to the East.
Our friends and neighbours in Cherry Hinton may also have something to say about this!
Cambridge Approaches – formed by a group of residents living in villages to the south and west of Cambridge – are hosting a webinar for Cambridge residents this Saturday 19th Dec at 5pm – come along to find out more!
You may be interested in the work of CamBed RailRoad who are also campaigning for the route to access Cambridge from the North. And please sign this petition asking for a route from the North of Cambridge to be included as an option for consideration.