East West Railway Company (EWR) has chosen Route E (see map below) as the preferred route to connect Bedford to Cambridge. This route could go through or very close to Harlton and many villagers have already been contacted by the company for survey work. The railway is to have a station at Cambourne, but no local stops. It is considered to be an ‘inter urban commuter railway’ not a ‘metro service for Cambridge’. It will not serve Harlton at all. It is very likely to cause a huge amount of disruption in the building of it and cause adverse damage to the environment, land and people living close to it.
David Revell, a councillor from Haslingfield Parish has set up an action group (East West Rail Cambridge Approaches Action Group).
The aims of the group are to consider the area of Option E between Toft and Great Shelford, where the line will connect to the West Anglia Main Line. It will give local residents/Parish Councils direct and strategic input into the alignment and to obtain greater bargaining power in dealing with EWR if parishes are approached individually. The EWRCAA group will only consider EWR’s Route Option E as it stands, even though it is recognised this may change.
In the setting up of EWRCAA it is hoped that people will come forward to volunteer their expertise in the following areas:
- Civil engineering (preferably railway engineering)
- Quantity surveying
- Environmental noise
- Local history and archaeology
- Project management/project planning
- Computer aided design (CAD)
- Legal matters
It is a matter of urgency that if any villagers feel strongly about this and feel they can help in some way that they get in touch with Harlton Parish Council (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the first instance or you may contact the Cambridge Approaches Action Group directly: email@example.com
EWR is currently in Stage 2 of the project – developing route alignment options. By 2021/22 they will have chosen a preferred route alignment. Construction is planned to start in 2025. If we want to have any say in this we need to act now.
In the meantime, if you have been contacted by EWR for survey work you can add your details to a map created by a Haslingfield resident, found on the village website (Haslingfieldvillage.co.uk).
EWR and their contractors are very unwilling to share any information with Parish Councils, so by sharing this information on this map it perhaps gives an indication where the railway is being planned. Click here to view the map.