What are we doing about this?

 
We are pursuing a “Bottom Up, Top Down” strategy
Bottom Up involves disseminating public information, harvesting community opinion about rail route options and communicating that to Government to ensure full debate and fair consideration of both options by all the Agencies involved. It will involve:
  • A coordinated campaign of public information to galvanise the power of the people to influence the decisions makers in Government and the Agencies involved
  • Presentations to Parishes across the County including St Neots and in neighbouring Bedfordshire
  • Social Media Campaign to inform, recruit and support
  • Public relations campaign 
  • Feedback to MPs and Councillors pressing that CBRR proposal be fairly considered under ministerial oversight by all the Agencies concerned before a final EWR route is decided

Top Down depends on asserting the key Recommendations of the NIC to the Government concerning the Knowledge Arc and calling on Government to exercise the prescribed ministerial commitment and oversight through a single co-ordinated delivery programme. This would preclude EWR proceeding with its sole route preference without considering an alternate route proposal and without full consultation and agreement about a holistic route selection with all the other Agencies involved in planning and delivering the objectives of the Knowledge Arc. The depth and strength of  community opinion must be brought to bear to ensure Government fulfils its stated obligations.

NIC Recommendation 1a: Government should progress work on East West Rail, the Expressway and new settlements through a single co-ordinated delivery programme, with cross-government ministerial commitment and oversight. The aim of this programme should be to unlock opportunities for transformational housing growth through the creation of well-connected new communities. 
And 3: Put in place an independent design panel for East West Rail, the Expressway and new and expanded settlements across the arc by April 2018. This panel should work in concert with existing infrastructure design panels and new development corporations to specify, scrutinise and challenge settlement designs, plans and delivery.
 
  • Presenting to EWR the CBRR alternative route proposal before their preferred route is announced unilaterally. Chairman is Rob Brighouse. Identifying feasible funding sources for the CBRR route. Target Date end of September.
  • Informing EWR about the weight and strength of public opinion and the needs of the travelling public.
  • Presenting to MPs     
    • Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambs
    • Jonathan Djanogly, MP Huntingdon, includes St Neots
    • Alistair Burt, MP for North East Bedfordshire
    • Ian Stewart, MP South Milton Keynes. Government spokesman for the Knowledge Arc (Add link to Sajid David’s Announcment 22nd Dec 2017).
  • Communicating with Secretaries of State:
    • Chris Grayling, MP, S o S Department of Transport, with responsibility for Highways England and Network Rail and East West Rail
    • James Brokenshire, MP, S o S Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government, with responsibility for Planning Agencies Cambridge and Peterborough Combined Authority, Greater Cambridge Partnership, SCDC, CCC, Huntingdon DC and Central Bedfordshire Council.
    • Impressing on all the central tenet of the NIC Recommendations to Government and the logic and strength of local opinion in Cambridgeshire where the workers are.
  • Please help with access to MPs and Ministers in any way you can.

 
Heidi Allen MP (South Cambridgeshire):

“... East West Rail and the Expressway are well and truly on Government’s “to-do” list. At every opportunity I get, I reinforce the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendation that their corridors must be aligned so that they serve both existing and emerging communities.”

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“The vitality of the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor is crucial to the future prosperity of the whole country. We need to make bold investments in infrastructure to support that growth and make it sustainable. The East West Railway is the most important piece of the jigsaw, so we've got to work together and get it right by looking at what all the options can bring.”
Aidan Van de Weyer
(Deputy Leader, South Cambridgeshire District Council)