Great Shelford GWR Action Group

The East West Rail project poses a serious risk to our homes and our village and time is running out.

Shelford residents: it is time to join forces and get involved, before it is too late.

We are in serious danger of having a major new railway line built right through our village.

The Secretary of State for Transport announced in January 2020 the Preferred Route Option E (pictured below) for a new railway line connecting Bedford and Cambridge. East West Railway Co (EWR) is currently conducting work to identify a series of specific routes within the Preferred Route Option – what the Company calls the ‘Route Alignment Options’.

EWR expects to conduct a non-statutory public consultation exercise on the proposed route Alignment Options around January/ February 2021. One of the options will be selected as its ‘Preferred Route Alignment’. There will then be a statutory public consultation exercise on that preferred alignment. Following that consultation, EWR will finalise its route proposal and seek the necessary planning consents. Construction is planned to start in 2025. You can find more details here: https://eastwestrail.co.uk/the-project/central-section

Any chosen Route Alignment is likely to have a significant adverse impact on our local area as the railway seems destined to merge with existing rail lines in or near the Shelfords.

What’s the alternative? A Northern Route.

Alternative route proposals have been developed and advocated for several years by the CamBedRailRoad (CBRR) group: http://www.cambedrailroad.org who have invested a considerable amount of time, effort and expertise in developing an alternative route proposal for EWR’s rail line to approach Cambridge from the north, rather than the south. CBRR present a very powerful case for the adoption of a northern Cambridge approach that would serve the needs of the region and local communities better than Option E.

EWR have only consulted on southern routes. They have never consulted on the relative merits of northern and southern approaches. This is unacceptable.

It is vital that we lobby immediately, urgently and widely for the postponement of EWR’s impending non-statutory consultation on route alignments within the route option E area, in order to allow for a proper consideration of CBRR’s proposal for a northern approach, and for a public consultation on the relative merits of northern and southern approaches. The non-statutory consultation on the current route option E should not take place, unless and until it has been demonstrated by EWR that there are compelling reasons against CBRR’s proposals and in favour of EWR’s current plans. Those reasons have not yet been provided.

What can you do?

To obtain the best solution for our local community, there are things that we can each do.

1. You can join our Great Shelford EWR Action Group

We are a group of concerned residents in Shelford that are working together to create awareness in our community of the EWR proposals, the alternatives and lobbying for consultation on the merits of northern and southern approaches. This group is for residents and businesses in Great and Little Shelford. To join please email

gt-shelford-ewr-action@googlegroups.com stating your name and address.

2. Sign CamBedRailRoad’s petition for a fair evaluation of a northern approach to Cambridge

CBRR launched a petition, on www.change.org, demanding that the proposal for a northern Cambridge approach be fairly evaluated alongside alternative routes proposed by EWR. As yet, this demand remains unsatisfied. This demand deserves our strong support. All residents of Shelford should sign the petition without delay. You can find it by googling “CBRR petition”.

3. Write to your MP, District and County Councillors and Mayor

EWR is a public body so every email and letter to a politician will count. An original letter has more impact than a template letter. If you send an e-mail send it to Anthony Browne MP and copy the others listed in the ‘cc’ line. Please consider writing to:

Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambridgeshire. Address: Broadway House, 149-151 St Neots Road, Hardwick, CB23 7QJ Or email anthony.browne.mp@parliament.uk

Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport: shappsg@parliament.uk

Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government: robert.jenrick.mp@parliament.uk

Mayor James Palmer james.palmer@cambridgeshirepeterborough-ca.gov.uk

County Councillor Kevin Cuffley kevin.cuffley@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

County Councillor Roger Hickford roger.hickford@cambridgeshire.gov.uk

District Councillor Peter Fane cllr.fane@scambs.gov.uk

District Councillor Nick Sample cllr.sample@scambs.gov.uk

4. You can also write to East West Railway to express your opinion

E-mail contact@eastwestrail.co.uk or send a letter to FREEPOST East West Rail.

East West Rail (EWR) is considering a route option that may run through Great Shelford. The next stage of the consultation on the East West rail website will be made public in February.