East West Rail to hold drop-in events ahead of statutory consultation

  • Sessions aim to inform communities and businesses about the statutory consultation process which begins in June
  • Drop-ins are open to all members of the public to hear how the statutory consultation and Development Consent Order (DCO) processes work

East West Railway Company (EWR Co) has announced a series of information events in May to help people understand how the formal application process to build the railway works.

Nine information events will be held in May across the whole line of route between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge.

These events are aimed at providing information about the statutory consultation process which will start in June. Details of the proposed design about the route will be shared when the statutory consultation begins.  

During the last series of EWR community events held in November, people told us that they would like to learn more about the Development Consent Order (DCO) process and how they could get involved. These drop-in events aim to explain what the different stages of the DCO application are and how that process works. These sessions are not formal consultation events and there will be no specific design information or proposals available to view. However, that design information will of course be available at the statutory consultation where there will then be the opportunity to share feedback about our proposals.

Beth West, CEO, EWR Co, said:

“EWR is a once in a generation opportunity that has the potential to positively impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people by improving access to jobs, educational opportunities and public services.

“If you live or work around the line of the route and are not aware or unsure about the process for us getting consent to build the railway, I would encourage you to get involved and attend one of these events to find out more.”

The events are open to everyone and take place as follows:

  • Tuesday 7th May - Bedford Rowing Social Club, The Boathouse, Duck Mill Lane, Bedford, MK42 0AX, from 2pm-7pm
  • Wednesday 8th May - Cutteslowe Pavilion Hall, Cutteslowe Park, Oxford, OX2 8ES, from 2pm-7pm
  • Thursday 9th May - Weyland Hall, 8-10 North Street, Bicester, OX26 6ND, from 2pm-7pm
  • Friday 10th May - South Cambridgeshire Hall, Cambourne Business Park, Cambourne, CB23 6EA, from 2pm-7pm
  • Monday 20th May - Roxton Village Hall, High Street, Roxton, MK44 3EB, from 2pm-7pm
  • Tuesday 21st May - St Philip’s Church Centre, 185 Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3AN, from 2pm-7pm
  • Wednesday 22nd May - Comberton Village Hall, Green End, Comberton, CB23 7DY, from 2pm-7pm
  • Thursday 23rd May - Bletchley Masonic Centre, 263 Queensway, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, MK2 2BZ, from 2pm-7pm
  • Friday 24th May - Marston Moreteyne Community Centre, Great Linns, Marston Moreteyne, MK4 0DD, from 2pm-7pm

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About the East West Rail Project

The East West Rail Project will connect people and businesses between Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge through a new direct rail line. It is a railway with community at its heart that will open up new journeys, cut travel times, and ease congestion on local roads. The route will connect people to the things and places that matter, bringing local benefit and sustainable growth by unlocking the social and economic potential of the area.

The East West Rail Project will be delivered in three Connection Stages: 

  • Connection Stage One: Oxford to Bletchley and Milton Keynes
  • Connection Stage Two: Oxford to Bedford
  • Connection Stage Three: Oxford to Cambridge

Network Rail was responsible for developing the first part of Connection Stage One, connecting Oxford with Bicester before the East West Rail Company (EWR co) was set up.  Since 2018, EWR Co and Network Rail have partnered in a construction alliance, East West Rail Alliance,  to complete Connection Stage One. EWR Co and Network Rail are acting as the Department for Transport’s joint sponsors. 

To deliver Connection Stage 2 and Connection Stage 3 a new railway needs to be constructed between Bedford and Cambridge and associated works are needed between Oxford and Bedford to upgrade and refurbish the existing railway infrastructure. EWR Co proposes to make an application to the Secretary of State for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to permit the construction and operation of these works.

About the East West Railway Company 

The East West Railway Company (EWR Co) is a non-departmental public body with limited company status set up by the Secretary of State for Transport in 2017 to deliver the East West Rail (EWR) Project.  

EWR Co aims to bring fresh thinking to the Project, challenging the industry status quo, leading to more efficient and cost-effective project delivery and better outcomes for the communities in and around the Project.

The corridor, which runs from Oxford through Milton Keynes and Bedford to Cambridge, is an economic artery that makes the UK a global leader in life sciences, technology and innovation, with the potential to create jobs, drive growth and attract investment for the entire country. EWR Co’s ambition is to unlock the full potential of this region that is vital to keeping the UK globally competitive in a way that considers the environment and offers value for taxpayers.