New EWR rail link plans to be discussed at virtual meeting

St Neots Railway Station,

St Neots Railway Station, - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of representatives from communities along the route of a new rail line between Cambridge and Oxford have been invited to take part in regular discussions to help shape the future of the link which could pass through Huntingdonshire.

The first meeting, for councillors from Huntingdonshire and parts of South Cambridgeshire, takes place today (February 9) and has been organised by the East West Railway Company (EWR) which is behind plans for the line.

More than 550 representatives from every parish, ward and electoral division along the route have been invited to take part as the scheme develops.

The potential route passes close to St Neots where there have been concerns about its impact on the town.

The multi-million pound link is set to open up a huge swathe of land to development, bringing new homes and a major economic boost to the region.

Simon Blanchflower, EWR chief executive, said: “These groups offer an opportunity for local representatives to have honest discussions with our team at regular intervals, during and outside of formal consultations.

"Most importantly, it will give our team the chance to really listen to the things that are important to local communities. We know issues such as rights of way, embankments and their impact on the landscape, and how we might minimise any noise that could come from the new railway are really critical and we’ll keep listening and working with local representatives to make sure any disruption to their communities is justified and kept to a minimum."

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Mr Blanchflower said the right transport facilities opened up a wide range of opportunities and that they were indebted to community representatives for their input.

Initial meetings will be held virtually but are expected to become face to face as Covid regulations are relaxed. They will be in addition to other consultations about the line and will take place every three months during its planning and construction.

Communities can check who is representing on the EWR website and by writing to . Agendas and minutes will be available later in a new space on the East West Rail Community Hub .