10.04.2024 /

Beth West | Announcement

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The past two years have been ones of significant progress at East West Railway Company (EWR Co). With Beth West at the helm, the team has accomplished a huge amount, not least:

  • Securing central government support for the continued development of EWR as a driver of UK economic growth

  • Defining the preferred route for EWR, and delivering a Route Update Announcement in May 2023

  • Delivering critical design development, in preparation for the first stage of statutory consultation in summer 2024

  • Establishing Local Opportunity Plans with £15m of funding to support wider economic growth around new EWR stations

  • Unlocking £240m funding to accelerate delivery of the Marston Vale Line upgrades

  • Completing track infrastructure for the route between Oxford and Bletchley, on time and below budget, which will enable services to begin, as planned, from 2025

  • Reducing the cost of EWR Co day to day operations by around 30%

  • Building increased pan-regional political and public support, with nearly three quarters of local residents now saying they support the transport link.

With the company now on a firm footing and about to embark into its next phase at the launch of statutory consultation, Beth has – after much reflection – decided the time is right to move on at the end of her contract to pursue new opportunities.

Beth West said: “When I started at EWR Co, it wasn’t even clear if government would back the project. We now have clear government support, a real focus on what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and who we’re building it for. As the company moves into a new phase, I’ve reflected that now is the time for me to move on, with EWR Co ready for the future whilst I’m ready for a new challenge.”

Neil Sachdev, Chair of EWR Co, said: “Beth’s tenure at EWR Co has been a defining time for the company. I’m sorry to see her go, and I want to thank Beth for the exceptional work that she has led over the past two years with us. I wish her the very best for the future.”

Huw Merriman, Rail Minister, said: “Beth has been instrumental in bringing fresh perspective to East West Rail – a major project that will transform rail journeys for millions of people between Oxford and Cambridge.

“Beth has overseen significant developments during her time as CEO and rightly kept the communities this railway will serve at the heart of the project throughout. I thank Beth for providing such a meaningful contribution over the past two years and wish her all the best for the future.”

Beth will remain as interim CEO of EWR Co until the end of May and will continue to be available to support the transition to a new permanent CEO until the end of July.

The permanent chief executive will be announced in due course.