Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017
The Greater Cambridge Partnership’s Executive Board has welcomed the Government’s commitment to a third railway station for Cambridge.
Chancellor Phillip Hammond confirmed central funding towards a study to accelerate the scheme, as part of a wider east-west rapid rail link, in the Autumn statement that was announced today.
The funding package towards a feasibility and business case for Cambridge South will be supplemented by private investment and contributions of £1.7m each from the Greater Cambridge Partnership and Combined Authority for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
It follows a report issued by the National Infrastructure Commission last week calling on Government to press ahead with investment in transport infrastructure to support growth along the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford arc.
GCP Chair Cllr Francis Burkitt said: “The Greater Cambridge Partnership’s role is to grow and share prosperity, including economic growth, and creating better and greener transport networks is a key part of this.
“A new station is needed for three reasons. First, our residents need more options to get to Addenbrooke’s, either to work there or as patients.
“Second, the Biomedical Campus is a growing hub for medical research and life sciences, and tens of thousands of people will soon be working there.
“Third, Papworth Hospital is set to relocate there next year. So investment in transport infrastructure in this key area is vital.”
Cllr Lewis Herbert, Vice Chair and Leader of Cambridge City Council, welcomed the news but said the Partnership, together with other local partners, would continue to press Government to bring forward the timeline for a new station and rail links to the west.
“Cambridge South is needed by 2022, or even earlier, to address the growth challenges and to unleash to full potential of the Greater Cambridge economy for the benefit of the wider region,” he said.
“While we welcome news of commitment to east-west rail, we want a firm commitment from Government on a date of Christmas 2019 as the latest deadline for announcing the central route from Sandy to Cambridge,” he said.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chair of the Economy and Environment Committee and Transport Portfolio Holder for GCP, Cllr Ian Bates, is also Chairman of East West Rail Consortium’s Central Section board.
“This is great news today, we have long had aspirations for a Cambridge South railway station and have been working with partners to make this a reality.
"The station is an important part of Cambridge’s future infrastructure and essential to improve access to and promote growth of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and the wider economy,” he said.
“We’ve done a lot of work locally and everyone agrees they want it so this announcement of £5million is good news and will be a big step towards taking this project forward. There is a lot of work still to be done and we will play an important part in the process as the plans develop.”
The Greater Cambridge Partnership of local authorities, business and academia is delivering a local growth deal worth up to £1 billion for Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, with investment in transport infrastructure, housing and skills, to bring thousands of new homes and jobs to the area.
Approval of GCP’s contribution to the Cambridge South study is set to be discussed at an Executive Board meeting later today.