Enabling works for the central section of the East-West Rail line are nearing completion.
The so-called ‘‘Varsity Line’’ which will run between Oxford and Cambridge was ordered after a National Infrastructure Commission’s Partnering for Prosperity report was published nearly a year ago. The report highlights the need to improve road and rail links between Oxford and Cambridge.
Once the enabling works have been completed the main bulk on construction can begin on the line – which is set to link Oxford, Bicester, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes and Bedford with Cambridge.
The report stated that the new line would help the creation of one million homes across the arc between Oxford and Cambridge by 2050, and create vibrant communities, while at the same time maintaining the area’s natural beauty.
The East-West Rail Company’s strategy director Will Gallagher recently vowed to have trains running on the line by 2023.
A National Infrastructure Commission spokesman said: “The near-completion of enabling works means real progress can be made in delivering the vital transport links between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Bedford, and can continue on to Cambridge.
“As our report highlighted, this and the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway together have the potential to help deliver 1M homes by 2050, creating vibrant communities and supporting future economic growth.
“And as the Growth Arc continues to attract the brightest and best in some of the most high-tech industries, this will benefit both the area and the country as a whole.”
The line is set to run alongside Oxford to Cambridge Expressway which was given the go-ahead last month.
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