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EWR Consultation Response – deadline 9 June – Have Your Say

We urge every adult member of your household to respond to the consultation to influence positively the future of our village and surrounding communities

 

You can either use EWR’s Feedback Form directly online: https://communityhub.eastwestrail.co.uk/consultation-feedback/survey_tools/feedback

OR download and print a copy of EWR feedback form (PDF, 70KB) and send to Freepost EAST WEST RAIL.  If you would like to do this, but don’t have internet access, please call Jon Howard on 0777 186 7986 who can assist with printing

OR scan and send a copy to consultation@eastwestrail.co.uk

OR send feedback in your own words directly to  consultation@eastwestrail.co.uk

 

To make responding easier, here are some suggested topics for Questions 1, 2, and 41, the most crucial ones for the Shelfords. Your answer can be a short as you like – choose a few points important to you and use your own words.  Add your own points if you can. You can also support other villages by using the suggested topics to answer Questions 38 to 40 in your own words

 Question 1: The approach to Cambridge

  • Request a balanced consideration of northern AND southern approaches; EWR has not yet provided this. There are pros and cons for both routes; EWR and us, the community, need to choose carefully and TOGETHER for the long term
  • There are no benefits whatsoever to south western Cambridgeshire villages, including Great Shelford, from EWR’s southern approach
  • The alternative northern approach proposal by CamBedRailRoad of trenching the line as in the Netherlands would suit our landscape better, and be less obtrusive and damaging environmentally. High visual impact structures are unacceptable north and south
  • A northern approach linked to Cambridge North Station would support current or planned large housing, businesses and employment developments, including science parks, north of Cambridge. The planned Cambridge South Station, which is a separate project, will already support the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (Addenbrookes)
  • The southern approach is more environmentally sensitive than the northern approach, eg chalk streams and barbastelle bats in the Eversden and Wimpole Woods SAC
  • The business case for the project is unclear, particularly after Covid with changes in travelling patterns. EWR need to ensure that the railway construction and operation provides value for taxpayers for decades to come. This is unproven

Question 2: Customer experience and railway operations

  • Please answer EWR questions: how you are going to use EWR services and does it provide support for your local commute?
  • Ask EWR how they can support Net Zero carbon ambitions: ask them why they are not planning for overhead electrification of the line from the start, when the UK has pledged net zero carbon by 2040. Electric trains emit 20-30% less carbon per passenger mile than diesel, are quieter, faster and cheaper to run and avoid diesel’s contribution to air pollution deaths

Question 38:  Please rank your preference for the proposed Clapham Green to The Eversdens alignment options

  • Reject all routes: not enough information to make an informed judgement
  • You can’t reject all routes in answering this question so suggest this in question 39

Question 39:  Please tell us why you have ranked the proposed alignment options above and provide any other comments.

  • Reject all routes: not enough information to make an informed judgement
  • This question is premature without a fair consultation on northern approach to Cambridge

Question 40: What do you think is important to consider when developing our proposals for the Harlton to Hauxton area?

  • The track should not pass through these villages, but if it must:
  • Respect the Green Belt and set the railway low in the landscape; add agricultural crossings every 500m, and maintain and restore all roads and public rights of way
  • It is imperative that Newton stays connected to Harston and Hauxton to the Shelfords
  • Provide a King’s Cross line station for Harston to their specification and ensure compatibility with a future Harston A10 bypass, including any required bridges
  • Respect the environment: demonstrate no impact on the bats in Eversden and Wimpole Woods Special Area of Conservation and on all wildlife and chalk streams

Question 41: What do you think is important to consider when developing our proposals for the Shelfords and Cambridge area?

  • Closing the level crossing at Hauxton/Little Shelford will sever an important local access route and will increase traffic on remaining routes. Make it safer, e.g. with four barriers
  • Proposed modifications to the Shepreth Junction: NO to a grade separated junction, especially if it involved an elevated section of rail for a mile on a flyover. It would negatively impact surrounding properties due to unsightliness as well as noise, vibration and pollution, especially if – as is very likely – there will be freight trains running at night.
  • There must be no interruption in the availability of the DNA foot/cycle path, an important green commuting route.
  • Environment: EWR must ensure protection of Nine Wells, Hobson’s Brook and Hobson’s Park.
  • Oppose any development in Cambridge Green Belt around Great Shelford (if you have especially enjoyed walks in our green spaces during the pandemic, do mention how much you appreciate them, and the animals, birds, flowers etc. you have seen around the place)
  • Construction misery: work will last for years and there will be many roads and bridges closed, plus construction traffic, noise, dirt, vibrations – general gridlock.
  • Mitigation measures such as more environmentally-friendly approaches to construction and compensation due to properties affected will be expensive – but essential
  • EWR trains should not need to go to Cambridge station, which is already very busy and should integrate with local transport infrastructure
  • Respect the Green Belt and the environment; choose a better approach