Delivery of Oxford-Cambridge at the earliest opportunity

Introduction

The Partnership will continue to work with government and the East West Railway Company to support delivery of Oxford-Cambridge at the earliest opportunity.

The government has previously set out its commitment to complete the restoration of the Oxford
to Cambridge rail link (including the Aylesbury-Milton Keynes link) by 2030, under the remit of
the East West Railway Company.

We consider it both possible and essential to the ambitions of the region that Bletchley-Bedford services are operational prior to the completion of the Bedford to Cambridge section.

Delivery of Oxford-Cambridge is vital, given the key role that East West Rail has in enabling
the potential of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc to be realised, in a way that is consistent with the
requirement to achieve net zero carbon.

Work update

East West Railway Company: The East West Railway Company is responsible for the overall delivery of the Oxford-Cambridge project. Their website provides up to date information on its progress.

The East West Rail Alliance: The East West Rail Alliance is constructing the line between Bicester and Bletchley. See their latest progress report, presented to the Partnership on September 15 2021: EWR Consortium Board 150921

Spending Review: In September 2021 we submitted our Spending Review priorities to the Minister of State for Transport. This supported the submissions of England’s Economic Heartland and Transport East. It emphasised the critical importance of the Aylesbury-Milton Keynes link and of delivering Bletchley-Bedford as soon as possible, ahead of Bedford-Cambridge opening. It also made the case for funding to develop an appropriate solution for the London Road level crossing in Bicester, which faces likely closure with the extension of East West Rail services to Bedford and Cambridge.

See: EWMLP Spending Review submission final

Consultation response: In June 2021 the Partnership (then East West Rail Consortium) responded to the East West Railway Company’s non-statutory consultation entitled ‘Making Meaningful Connections’.

England’s Economic Heartland transport strategy: In February 2021 England’s Economic Heartland sub-national transport body submitted its transport strategy to the Secretary of State for Transport. This included policies on the full delivery of East West Rail at pace.

London Road level crossing: In 2020 the Partnership (then East West Rail Consortium) provided funding towards a Stage 1 Options Appraisal Report (OAR) for London Road, Bicester, undertaken by Oxfordshire County Council.