Preferred East West Rail route confirmed

Chancellor backs reopened ‘Varsity line’

The Government reaffirmed its commitment to rebuilding the East West Rail route between Oxford and Cambridge as part of a ‘Life Sci for Growth’ package of policy announcements made by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on 25 May 2023. Transport Secretary Mark Harper said that ‘with the potential to unlock £103 billion of growth through new homes, businesses and job opportunities, this crucial line will… serve as a catalyst for development.’

Construction of the railway between Bicester and Bletchley is already well under way and tracklaying passed the halfway mark earlier this year; passenger services are set to commence between Oxford and Milton Keynes in 2025.

The Government announcement in May firms up EWR’s preferred options for the rest of the route. Key points include:

a southerly approach to Cambridge has been confirmed;

a new station is planned at Cambourne to support local development;

a new station is planned at Tempsford to provide interchange between EWR and the East Coast main line;

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