Enabling work near-complete on ‘vital’ East-West rail link

Published: 4 Oct 2018


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Mainline railway in Oxfordshire

Enabling works are near completion on a key section of the former “Varsity Line” between Oxford and Cambridge today, reaching a milestone in meeting the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations for supporting future economic prosperity across the growth arc.

The Commission’s “Partnering for Prosperity” report, published nearly a year ago, highlighted the need to improve both road and rail links between Oxford and Cambridge.  This would help deliver one million homes across the arc by 2050 and create vibrant communities, while at the same time maintaining the area’s natural beauty.

When complete, these enabling works will mean construction on the Western end of the East-West rail line – covering Oxford, Bicester, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes and Bedford – will be able to start from September next year.

It follows confirmation of the preferred corridor for the new Oxford-Cambridge Expressway, all as part of wider efforts to meet the economic potential identified by the Commission in its report.

A National Infrastructure Commission spokesman said:

“The near-completion of enabling works means real progress can be made in delivering the vital transport links between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Bedford, and can continue on to Cambridge.

“As our report highlighted, this and the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway together have the potential to help deliver one million homes by 2050, creating vibrant communities and supporting future economic growth.

“And as the Growth Arc continues to attract the brightest and best in some of the most high-tech industries, this will benefit both the area and the country as a whole.”

Notes to Editors:

Partnering for Prosperity was published on 17 November 2017 and can be found here

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