East West Rail Newsletter

Newsletter received from East West Rail:

Welcome to the final newsletter of the year, where you’ll find the latest news from across East West Rail (EWR). I know many of you have been waiting for an update on EWR, so following the positive news in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, I wanted to provide an update in the introduction to this edition as to where we are, what we know, and when to expect further news.

The whole EWR team has worked hard this year reviewing the consultation responses and refining our proposals to take account of all the useful feedback we have received. We have also been focused on setting out the case for EWR to inform Government decisions on the project.

Therefore, I was delighted in November when the Chancellor made clear in his Autumn Statement the Government’s commitment to EWR and stressed again how important this project is to local communities, and to help develop long term growth for the whole of the country.

The statement gave us the green light to move forward – so we are in the process of finalising our recommendations for consideration by Government in the early part of 2023. Once that’s happened, we will then be able to respond formally to the consultation and update local communities on the route choice. I don’t have a confirmed date for that publication yet, but as soon I do I will let you know.

I do recognise that people have been waiting a long time, and when I joined EWR Co in April I expected to publish an update on the project quickly. However, given the changes in Government over the past 6 months, I hope you will appreciate that progress hasn’t been entirely within my control.

I completely understand the importance of certainty. The Chancellor’s commitment was great news for the businesses who needed certainty about EWR so they can crack on with their long term investment plans. It was also good news for the local authorities who see EWR as integral to delivering on local ambitions – as well as for the 71% of local people between Oxford and Cambridge who think a new east-west public transport link is a good idea.

But for those people I’ve spoken to whose homes could be impacted by the railway, I know that certainty about the route choice is also critical, and the whole team here is focused on bringing that certainty as quickly as possible. My personal pledge as we close out the year is to work with Government and the team to publish an update as soon as possible.