Call to action over Arc rail link routes that could hit local villages

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Residents of villages north of Sandy are gearing up to fight proposals for a rail link on their doorstep.

Campaigners CamBedRailRoad have come up with a possible solution to a scheme which could see new rail lines going through Gamlingay, Sutton and Potton under the Oxford-Cambridge Knowledge ARC.

And they have taken their campaign on the road to drum up support for their proposal, which would see the rail line more aligned to the A428.

More than 70 people turned up to a meeting in Hatley St George on Tuesday to hear action is needed now to put the new proposal in front of Government officials, who are expected to make a decision on the final route early next year.

Chairman of CBRR Sebastian Kindersley said the preferred route from East West Rail, which would involve a rail corridor from Sandy to Cambridge, would not reach the planned communities along the route.

And residents have also expressed their concern. Sally Page of Everton Road, near Potton said the scheme would be “absolutely devastating” in Chronicle country.

“Its going to affect those living in Potton, Gamlingay and Sutton.

“It’s going to affect all of us if they take one of these C routes.”

The CBRR proposed route would take the rail link from Bedford to St Neots, coming into the north of Cambridge.

She added: “We are lobbying MPs and everyone else because what is very clear is that people are very unaware that they [the c routes] travel through villages and homes.

“We are taking our proposal to people who are in a position of influence.”

He said the CBRR preferred option would service the communities already planned along the A428 route, along with four new stations.

The C routes, he said “deliver nothing but blight along the corridor.

“Time is critical, we want to make sure our option does cross the desk of government.

“The C corridor doesn’t give anything, the A428 route gives a lot to millions of people.”

A planning document from East West Rail states: “The corridor via Sandy offered the best value in terms of economic benefits, reduced journey time between Oxford and Cambridge, population growth and employment in the area, operating costs for new services and forecast passenger demand.

“Local infrastructure and the wider impacts of the railway were also considered.

“Work is now continuing to identify a more detailed route within this chosen corridor, and following this work, there will be a full public consultation on the proposals.”

To find out more about the new proposals go to http://www.hatley.info/pc/latest.html

Anyone who would like to discuss the new proposals with CBRR can contact them at cbrr@belljohnson.co.uk