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The Proposed EW Rail Could Be Coming Through Dry Drayton

 

The EW rail project consulted on proposed routes into Cambridge. The consultation closed on 9 June 2021.

The East West Rail consultation document was widely distributed to local homes. An online version is here:

https://eastwestrail-production.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/public/EAS060_ConDoc_310321_Digital_MASTER-1.pdf

Results from the consultation exercise are now awaited

 

How might this affect Dry Drayton?

 

Introduction by Cllr Houlihane, Dry Drayton Parish council:

 

By now everyone should have received a printed copy of the East West Rail consultation summary, and you could assume from looking at section D that the only impact on Dry Drayton will be the choice of a Cambourne North or Cambourne South station. From Cambourne North, routes are shown passing between Highfields Caldecote and Hardwick then crossing the A603 east of the Eversdens. In fact, now that the option of a station at Cambourne North has been added, and in response to pressure from the Cambridge Approaches campaign group, East West Rail have also done a detailed analysis of a route which passes Dry Drayton, adds a station in Oakington, and enters Cambridge from the north at Milton

 

You can find this analysis in Appendix F of the technical report:

https://eastwestrail-production.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/public/Consultation-Technical-Report-Appendices-A-D-F-v2.pdf

 

The conclusion is “that an alignment approaching Cambridge from the north remains less attractive than a southern approach into the city, reinforcing the previous conclusion that a southern approach to Cambridge should be preferred and the case for the proposals described in Chapters 9, 10 and 11 of this Technical Report.” Nevertheless, it would be helpful if Dry Drayton residents submit their views to make sure that the village is well represented. Note that individual responses are more effective than household ones.

 

Petition against a Northern Route

 

There is also a petition you can join here: http://chng.it/4Pn2DQhf7p

 

Our MP on26 May 2021 in the House of Commons

 

On 26 May 2021 in the House of Commons Anthony Browne Conservative, South Cambridgeshire, asked the Prime Mionister:

I very much welcome the fact that the Government are investing heavily in upgrading rail networks across the country, including opening lines that have previously been closed. As a Conservative Government, we have a particular responsibility to the taxpayer to ensure value for money. The business case for East West Rail in my constituency is largely based on commuting, but the pandemic means we are in the middle of a workplace revolution. If in future people work from home on average two days a week, that will mean a 40% reduction in commuting. Will my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister commit to doing a review of East West Rail’s business case to ensure it remains value for money and to take into account the long-term impact of the pandemic?

 

The Prime Minister replied: My hon. Friend is a great campaigner for Cambridgeshire and the rights of the people of Cambridgeshire. However, my strong feeling is that it would be a mistake now to go slow on investment in infrastructure purely on the basis that we think people will start working from home. My long experience of this is that people need to travel and they will travel. The commuter bustle will come back, and it needs to come back.

 

Dry Drayton Parish Council's response to the consultation.

 

From Cllr Houlihane 5 May 2021

 

Here is a copy of the response that the Parish Council agreed to make to the East West Rail consultation (yesterday being the last opportunity for an online meeting before we need to return to in person meetings). We will continue to work with the other parishes along the proposed routes (north and south) since it isn't clear if the business case for the line is still viable (even though there is clear demand for some transport improvements). Please continue to make your own individual responses.

 

Q1 Dry Drayton Parish Council supports the selection of route option E over a Northern route into Cambridge, but we are concerned that many residents who would be affected by the Northern Route will assume that the conclusions reached in prior consultations mean they do not need to respond to this consultation. The consultation summary document does not show this route and only mentions it at the very end.

We are not persuaded that the simple technical solutions put forward by the CBBR campaign group would allow the route to cross under Madingley Road, the A1307, the A14, Cambridge Road in Oakington or the guided busway at Oakington. This would result in a significant embankment or viaduct which would have a profound impact on the local landscape, drainage and wildlife.

 

Although it may be possible to operate the Northern Route as a two track arrangement in the short term, we believe that a significant infrastructure project like this must be built with future expansion in mind and a four track arrangement must be factored into the impact assessment.

 

If the route passes close to Dry Drayton as indicated, there will be significant noise, and disruption of several local businesses. The woodland area recently purchased for use by the village would be completely destroyed.

 

Dry Drayton is surrounded by open spaces where local residents and visitors walk and enjoy the countryside. The value of this resource would be significantly diminished by a northern rail route into Cambridge. We are also concerned that the route would restrict the space available for wildlife to travel since the A14 and the A428 already act as significant barriers

 

Adoption of the North Cambourne site is more likely to lead to eventual development between the A428 and Dry Drayton, this would significantly reduce the visual separation between villages in this area and have a further detrimental effect on the village. The Parish Council is not supportive of the local plan proposals for the Parish and regards the development as unnecessary.

 

There has yet been no analysis of the traffic flow impact from the proposed station locations, but we are concerned that the catchment area of a station at Cambourne North is more likely to overlap with the Cambridge North, (so generating more car journeys) than a Cambourne South Station (which will better serve residents who have inferior public transport opportunities today).

 

Finally, Dry Drayton has already been subjected to 4 years of significant disruption during the A14 upgrade and would again be significantly affected by the construction of a northern route, exacerbated by the additional disruption along the route as it enters Cambridge.

 

Q2. Dry Drayton Parish Council calls for the EWR line to be electrified or to use whatever battery technology is necessary to ensure the trains are carbon neutral.

 

Q38. 8, 2, 6, 9, 1  (order of preference of routes)

 

Q39. No opinion for the optimum station at St Neots / Tempsford. Cambourne South is preferred for the following reasons:
Shorter overall journey time.
More direct route.
Catchment area for surrounding villages better serves those who currently have inferior public transport choices to Cambridge and beyond.

 

Townlands Trust comments on consultation, with grateful thanks to Neil Harris

 

Not at all convinced by level of environmental commitment by EWR.

 

               

What are other people saying about the proposed route into Cambridge?

 

Cambridge Approaches - a volunteer action group along with supporting parish councils and residents campaigning for a full and fair consultation on an alternative northern approach into Cambridge relating to the proposed East West Rail route Option E. They have been building their arguments and membership since August 2020 and have raised a campaign fund of around £15K. https://cambridgeapproaches.org/



Other Sources of information

 

East West Rail https://eastwestrail.co.uk/