Cambridge Approaches Working Group Current Objectives

These posters are starting to appear in the Option E area, get in touch if you want one.

It’s been a while since we reviewed the Cambridge Approaches objectives so we felt it was time for an update – here it is.

If there is a case for the East West Railway, we support the route going through a new Cambourne North Station rather than Cambourne South and will continue to make the case for that with stakeholders. In this we are supporting our local MP, the Mayor of the Combined Authority and members of the Local District Council. We call on EWR not to ignore the combined weight of this opinion and the voice of the parishes. 

Whichever stops are chosen for the railway, we believe that EWR should consult on the variety of options that it could take through Cambourne North; especially as this is a new location not previously considered or discussed.

Until we have further facts, we remain to be convinced about the case for the East West Railway so the consultation needs to cover all the unresolved issues. For example, the business case is poor and not clearly justified; there is no alignment with the local plan from SCDC and other local authorities; it does not make enough use of multi-modal corridors; it may affect our food security; it causes unnecessary environmental damage and planning blight dividing communities in the process. 

We are conscious that some very important decisions were made before the first consultation (now some two years ago) on the need for the railway and its approach to Cambridge and these have not been properly justified or back checked.  In particular the co-ordination with other transport initiatives such as the Metro to meet commuter demand is not evident; there is little mention of freight – indeed the story of freight resembles that of Schrodinger’s cat. We will continue to research and question EWR Co. and others on these and any other significant points that arise.

Cambridge Approaches continues to make local people aware of the impending threat to the Option E area and to seek means to reduce or ideally eliminate the impact of the railway on residents and the environment. There is no ideal answer, so we will not elaborate further on alternative route options nor will we try to broker compromises between affected parties – that is EWR Co.’s job and for them to justify the route chosen. However, we will advise on facts if you have a specific question. 

Cambridge Approaches Working Group October 2020

11 replies on “Cambridge Approaches Working Group Current Objectives”

Having only recently become aware of the details of EWR “Option E” through Cambridge Approaches website I had the advantage of being able to review a considerable amount of excellent research already undertaken by C A action group.
As I look out to the north from my house in Haslingfield over endless miles of flat Cambridgeshire land I am confused why EWR should aim a new railway line towards Haslingfield and Harlton, which has the only high hills for miles around.
EWR consider Option E the most cost effective route but do not give evidence for this decision. Has the additional cost of cuttings and considerable drainage work been fully considered in these calculations?
The effect on the Clunch Pits in Haslingfield and Harlton do not appear to have been mentioned in any posts.
Cambridge North provides a route through less populated areas linking in well with Cambourne North and Cambridge North station, which appears a more supported approach. It would also avoid bringing the line through the congested area of Shelford, which would have a considerable impact on property adding cost to the project.

Paul Steel (Haslingfield)

In response to your offer in today’s new Post: “However, we will advise on facts if you have a specific question,” please kindly give your views on the CamBedRailRoad Route from Cambourne North via Northstowe New Town approaching Cambridge via existing Cambridge North Staion en route to City and Biocampus? It provides the Biocampus with a far wider patient and employment catchment, avoids severance and despoliation of all 12 Parishes impacted by all the E routes, carries more passengers from more residential hubs to more employment centers, facilitates further residential development at Cambourne and Northstowe, reduces risk of a new station and development between Cambourne and Haslingfield, reduces road traffic, and facilitates rail freight from Felixstowe to all points North and West without screeching through Cambridge City Center on an impossibly tight radius at dead of night. And are there any benefits at all for the Cambridge Approaches constituency from any of the threatened E Routes?
Philip, Shingay-cum-Wendy

Philip, better late than never. Of course we agree that the CBRR route is better for the Cambridge Approaches 12 parishes. The CA parish council reps. said that Option E has zero benefit for us and we told EWR on the 8th October 2020 in no uncertain terms. But as you point out, it should be better for the area as well. A serious assessment of the Cambridge North approach by government is overdue. Heck it should also be better for EWR Co’s rather poor BCRs and hence the poor taxpayers. It may even be better for the Biocampus as you point out, not everyone that works there will want to live in Caxton! Have a look at out new post on Cambourne North. One thing that would have to be considered is potential overlap with the proposed metro system and busway, but I think that is easily resolved and I think CBRR have some ideas on that.

The impression is that there is an ongoing lack of co-ordination between the various ‘bodies’ promoting so-called improvements, whether it be travel hubs, metro sytems, bus priority measures, fancy roundabouts, park and ride facilities, new railway stations, city approach schemes and so on.
The East West Rail Link is generally accepted as being necessary development. It will form part of the national rail network, a system that offers the framework of the nationwide transport system. There are existing natural corridors for this framework, but the approach that appears to be taken is to thread the new link through yet more relatively unspoiled countryside.
This happened extensively during the motroway building boom (remember the ‘Great Car Economy’?). Look at any map and you will see the so-called bypass effect. Soon after completion, the various pockets of land trapped between towns and new roads were developed into commercial or housing estates. This is one of the reason why the new link must go north where these corridors already exist.
And of course, the siting and design of associated infrastructure such as new railway stations must be considerd in parallel. We must at all costs avoid another busway fiasco that was bulldozed through with little or no thought given to future infrastructure needs.
In the meantime EWR are spending our (taxpayers) money and must be pressed to explain the reasons for their actions.

Good collective support from MP, CC SCDC , PC against Option E …. but we still see no evidence of EWR backing off – recent archaeology between Harlton and Haslingfield on Option E … EVERYONE MUST write to aforementioned THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT…. can you reply with e-mails to write to in response – keep up the great work – Tom Lindley

My concerns are for our two linked communities of Haslingfield and Harlton. It is unimaginable to think of a railway dividing the two villages where the children attend the one village school. As a 14th generation villager I could be accused of being a NIMBY but I do think our historic buildings are at risk because they are built from clunch. Our Parish church is fragile and in need of major restoration to protect this unstable building material.
It is Grade 1 listed and central to our village where vibration would be a huge risk in the event of the railway passing so close by.
Thankyou for all the detailed work you are doing on our behalf.

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