Press Release 18th August 2014

Rail campaigners have welcomed the high level study published today by the East West Rail Consortium which finds there will be real economic and social benefits gained from the building of The Central Section of EWR linking East Anglia through Cambridge and Bedford to Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and the west.
"This new line, which has support across the political spectrum at all levels of government as well as from business leaders and transport campaigners,  now has a solid economic case." said Peter Wakefield, Chairman of Railfuture's East Anglia Branch "What some once regarded as a 'pipe dream' in 1995 when Railfuture wrote the original paper that led to local authorities across the region setting up of the East West Rail Consortium, will soon be a vital economic artery serving every part of the region. The report shows that the new railway will provide unheard of connectivity improvements across the region with, for example, Cambridge to Oxford being connected by frequent trains in just 60 minutes, Cambridge to Bedford in just 28 minutes. Railfuture now looks to Network Rail to consult quickly with the Consortium to establish the business case and to plan the most beneficial route from Cambridge to Bedford to enable the route to be approved by the transport planning laws and open fully to Oxford by 2022 or earlier."

"After 20 years of unwavering campaigning for the project and support for the amazing efforts of the Consortium of Local Authorities, it is also a vindication of the democratic process...as well as vindication for our members patience! They have always understood the value of this railway to the economic and social well-being of our region and to the UK as a whole. They have never given up."
Notes to editors:

Railfuture is the UK's leading independent organisation campaigning for better rail services for both passengers and freight.

Railfuture's website can be found at: www.railfuture.org.uk

Follow Railfuture on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Railfuture

For further information and comment please contact:

Peter Wakefield, Chairman Railfuture East Anglian Branch,
Tel: 01223 352364
peter.wakefield at railfuture.org.uk 

Bruce Williamson, media spokesman
Tel: 0117 927 2954 Mobile: 07759 557389
media at railfuture.org.uk