Access to land and property

Gathering environmental data

Following the selection of a Preferred Route Option in January 2020 we have started to work to choose a Preferred Route Alignment for the railway between Bedford and Cambridge. This detailed work will help create the best possible railway for future customers and the communities that would be served.

As part of this, we will start to gather information and conduct surveys on the land to get a thorough picture of land ownership, land use, environmental conditions, historical features and geological conditions that could affect the design, construction or operation of the railway.

A full explanation of the kind of surveys we are undertaking and the methods we use is included in the booklet Guide to the Access Licence for Surveys below.


As East West Rail progresses, we will need to survey land between Bedford and Cambridge

What do landowners and occupiers need to know?

We will be surveying in a wider area than we will eventually need for constructing or running the railway. This information will feed into our work, helping us deliver transport connections in a responsible and environmentally sustainable way and help us to design appropriate ways to mitigate negative impacts of the railway.

We have recently written to a number of landowners and occupiers between Bedford and Cambridge, asking for agreement to undertake surveys on their land.

If you have received a letter our colleagues will be in touch soon to follow up. If you’d like to talk to the team in the meantime with any questions or comments, we’ve be very happy to talk to you:

We will continue to write to landowners and occupiers as the kind of information we need and the locations we need access to will change over time. If you would like to talk to the team at any point, please get in touch.

What do landowners and occupiers need to know?

Our commitments to landowners and occupiers

Underpinning this is our eight commitments to impacted landowners and occupiers:

  1. We will treat you, your land, property and personal data, and third parties acting for you with respect

  2. We will make the Health and Safety of you, your community and our workforce a priority

  3. We will work collaboratively with you and any third parties acting on your behalf

  4. We will discuss each activity with you, so we understand and manage the impacts to you

  5. We will keep potential damage and disruption to the minimum required to deliver the railway

  6. We will make good any physical damage caused through our activities

  7. We will make all payments and compensation due to you on time

  8. We will assign a dedicated Land Access Manager to you so you always have a way to contact us

Further information about these commitments, and our approach to land more broadly can be read in our land principles fact sheet

Our commitments to landowners and occupiers

Key documents

These documents were all enclosed with letters we recently sent to landowners and occupiers. 

If you have any questions about these documents, or if you would like us to send you physical copies, please get in touch with the team:

Land surveys: key documents