East West Rail has announced the preferred route for the Bedford to Cambridge section of East West Rail (EWR), including proposed new stations at Bedford St Johns, Tempsford and Cambourne.

Key updates include:

  • Improving services and reducing disruption along the Marston Vale by changing the proposed frequency to three services per hour rather than four to five as originally proposed. This requires less construction work to upgrade the line, which would reduce disruption to local communities and passengers, as well as reducing cost.
  • A new station for Bedford Hospital by relocating the existing Bedford St Johns station closer to the hospital to provide a convenient location for patients, hospital staff and visitors, while also improving the alignment of the railway into Bedford station.
  • Serving central Bedford and connecting with the wider rail network with a proposal to redevelop the Bedford station to take account of the required capacity and new infrastructure needed for EWR services and in doing so help support the Bedford Borough plans for regeneration in the Station Quarter.
  • Connecting Bedford and Cambourne with a new railway line.  It has been concluded that the best option is to follow the route of Alignment 1 for most of the route, with a local variation to provide a new station at Tempsford.
  • Connecting more people with opportunities in Cambridge has led to the conclusion that approaching Cambridge from the south is the best solution for the city, the region and – given the global opportunity at the Biomedical Campus – for the whole of the UK too.

More details about the above are set out in the Route Update Report.

EWR are now holding a series of public drop-in events across the route to give people the opportunity to meet their team and find out more about our updated proposals as follows:

  • 13 June 2023, 2pm – 8pm | Bedford
  • 20 June 2023, 2pm – 8pm | Ravensden
  • 22 June 2023, 2pm – 8pm | Great Eversden
  • 26 June 2023, 2pm – 8pm | Harston
  • 30 June 2023, 2pm – 8pm | Woburn Sands
  • 04 July 2023, 2pm – 8pm | Lidlington
  • 07 July 2023, 2pm – 8pm | Tempsford
  • 11 July 2023, 2pm – 8pm | Cambourne
  • 12 July 2023, 2pm – 8pm | Bicester
  • 20 July 2023, 2pm – 8pm | St Neots
Further consultation is proposed in early 2024 before East West Rail submit their application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build and operate the railway.

Here at J & J Design we are well equipped to assist landowners and developers with planning applications in the Bedford to Cambridge area to complement the East West Rail infrastructure proposals.

Contact us to find out how we can help you.