Plans for a new railway station and associated infrastructure at Cambridge South worth a combined £183.6m have taken a major step forward, after a TWAO application was submitted this week.
Network Rail has submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application to seek deemed planning permission to build the new station and associated infrastructure which will serve the southern fringe of Cambridge and the biomedical campus.
Following two rounds of consultation in 2020 to select the location of the station and seek views on the station facilities and access provision, the submission of the TWAO application marks a significant step forward towards making the station a reality.
A new station would connect the Cambridge Biomedical Campus with potential destinations such as central London, London Stansted Airport, Ely, Birmingham and Europe via London St Pancras. It would also provide access to a growing area of high-quality employment and also help relieve congestion in the local area by supporting the development of environmentally sustainable transport in Cambridge.
The TWAO application to the Secretary of State for Transport includes the provision for a new two storey, four platform station on the West Anglia Main which could include:
- a ticket office;
- ticket vending machines (TVMs);
- lifts providing step free access to all platforms;
- accessible toilets, baby change facilities, waiting area and space for retail/catering;
- access for pedestrians and cyclists from both sides of the railway with capacity for a 1000 cycle parking spaces;
- modification to roads and crossings to facilitate access to the station.
The application also seeks provision to modify and enhance the rail infrastructure to support the new station which could include:
- remodelling of the existing track layout;
- installing two additional track loops to accommodate a four-platform station;
- enhancements to Shepreth branch junction;
- modification to the railway on the southern approach to Cambridge station;
- provision for overhead line electrification infrastructure and a substation;
- modification of existing signalling equipment;
- closure of two private level crossing and provision of alternative access.
Network Rail says the submission of the TWAO application is the culmination of years of support by local organisations and partners working collaboratively to fund the early stages of development in order to realise the benefits of improving rail connectivity to the southern fringe of Cambridge. These organisations include AstraZeneca Ltd, the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, the Greater Cambridge Partnership, and the Department for Transport.
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “This application marks a major milestone in the development of a new station for the southern fringe of Cambridge and takes us a step toward realising the benefits that this station will bring for the biomedical campus and wider community. I am really proud of the team for the hard work they have done working in collaboration with our partners to reach this stage of the development for Cambridge South.”
Dr Nik Johnson, mayor of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, said: “I know from experience how important it is to improve transport links to hospitals and healthcare, while the economic future of the UK depends on the success of the industries Cambridge South Station will help to support with its better connections. I want the Combined Authority to carry on championing not only this important project, but also the wider transport improvements that will be needed to get the full value out of it, and to support well-planned development of the Biomedical Campus and the Greater Cambridge economy so they can bring new jobs and new skills for local people.”
Subject to gaining the necessary consent to build the station, work could start in 2022 with a funder target of station opening in 2025.