EWR's new CEO announces plans for new series of drop-in events starting in Bedfordshire

Beth West – the East West Railway Company (EWR Co)’s new Chief Executive – invites people living and working in communities between Oxford and Cambridge to meet the team at a series of drop-in events, starting later this month in Bedfordshire.

The events will help residents understand how East West Rail (EWR) is progressing and provide opportunities to meet the EWR Co team face-to-face. The sessions are open to everyone, with the first two taking place on:

  • Wednesday 18 May at Wyboston Lakes Resort, Wyboston, from 2pm-8pm (shuttle buses to Wyboston from various locations are available for those who need it), and 
  • Wednesday 25 May at Kings House Conference Centre, Bedford from 2pm-8pm.

Members from the EWR Co team will be on hand to talk about any aspect of the project, illustrated with plans, maps and other information, as well as talking about likely next steps for the project.

EWR Co was set a welcome challenge by the public during EWR Co’s second consultation held in 2021, with respondents raising over 160,000 individual matters to consider, each one of which must be taken into account before the next stages can be announced. However, while no new information will be available as the feedback is still being comprehensively reviewed, the team are eager for people to come to meet them outside the formal consultation process. 

Beth West – who joined EWR Co in April 2022 with a long track record of delivering projects focussed on community and sustainability said:

 “I am a passionate advocate of community involvement and am delighted to be announcing these events. In my first weeks at EWR, I have talked in depth with people from across the route and have seen how clearly people want us to create something which supports the future of their communities.

“People deserve accessible, good quality public transport wherever they live, and I know EWR has the potential to make a tangible, positive impact on the life of hundreds of thousands of people.

“If you live or work around Bedfordshire this is a great opportunity for you to meet the EWR Co team. Although there’s no new information to share just yet, I think it’s really important to keep talking.”

The events in Bedfordshire are the first in a planned programme of drop-in sessions for communities across the route between Oxford and Cambridge. Details of events in other areas will be announced in the coming weeks.

These public events have been launched now that the Government has lifted Covid-19 restrictions. They are not part of the formal consultation process but provide an additional opportunity for EWR Co to share information about the project in person.

In addition to these events for the wider community, EWR Co is arranging one-to-one appointments with residents and businesses whose land is potentially directly affected by the proposals. These will be an ongoing series of events and it is expected that the initial series of appointments will have been completed by the time the public events take place.

For more information or to see the available options for travel to the meetings, please visit https://communityhub.eastwestrail.co.uk/community-events. If any Bedfordshire resident or business has specific concerns they would like to discuss separately to these meetings, they can get in touch by emailing [email protected].