East West Rail will make travel easier.
Written by Black Cat on 25/10/2023
New East West Rail map highlights improved connectivity from Cambridge to UK holiday destinations
New materials* published this October half term reveal some of the UK tourist hotspots that will be more accessible once East West Rail (EWR) services are up and running. EWR’s intersections with the UK’s key strategic railway arteries mean some of the UK’s most loved destinations will now be more accessible by rail, offering communities in Cambourne and Cambridge more options and faster journey times.
The new maps were unveiled in Cambourne earlier this week at the CIHT East of England Conference and Awards 2023, where Hannah Staunton from East West Railway Company (EWR Co) was presenting.**
Once the whole route is opened up, East West Rail will connect with five major rail routes: the Midland Main Line, West Coast Main Line, East Coast Main Line, West Anglia Main Line and connections to the Great Western Railway. For communities living in Cambridgeshire – including Cambourne – these interchanges will bring some of the UK’s most loved destinations one step closer – including areas of outstanding natural beauty like the Cotswolds, the Wye Valley in Herefordshire and the exceptional landscapes of Dorset’s heritage coast, which would be accessible via one change at Oxford.
For residents in Cambourne, EWR will also provide direct access to the East Coast Main Line and West Coast Main Line, avoiding the need to change at Cambridge for other cross-country services.
The interchanges will also unlock access to other UK airports, with links to Luton Airport much easier by train for Cambridgeshire residents, offering options beyond the existing services from Cambridge to Stansted Airport, Gatwick Airport and Birmingham International.
The UK-wide opportunities that EWR offers for improved leisure travel during school holidays are in addition to the promising tourism boost that EWR will bring to tourist hotspots along the route. Whether for shopping at Bicester Village, skiing at Xscape in Milton Keynes or a trip to Centre Parcs in Bedfordshire, EWR will help people access more leading attractions in the area – particularly for younger people.
Scudamore’s Punting Company in Cambridge said:
“The anticipated enhancement in rail connectivity to Cambridge offers promise, and we hope it could positively impact accessibility and provide a gentle boost to the city’s tourism sector.”
Jerome Baddley, Director of Sustainability at Center Parcs, said:
“Sustainability and carbon reduction goals are central to our business, so we are excited at the prospect of more of our guests being able to use a greener form of transport in East West Rail to travel to our village in Woburn Forest. The new railway will connect communities and provide our guests, including those who don’t drive, with a new opportunity to visit us in a sustainable, stress-free, and reliable way.”
Jill Farnsworth, Chief Executive, MyMiltonKeynes Business Improvement District, said:
“East West Rail will be a huge boost for businesses and major leisure destinations in central Milton Keynes and beyond, attracting inward investment to the local economy and connecting people to job opportunities and enjoyable days out across the city.
“The new railway will be a catalyst for sustainable growth, providing people with quicker everyday journeys they can enjoy in a hassle-free way and we are excited to see it start operating its first passenger services.”
The new connections and travel opportunities feature in a new animation published on the EWR Community Hub, where EWR Co is asking communities to list the UK destinations they would consider travelling to by rail once EWR passenger services are running. To get involved, visit www.communityhub.eastwestrail.co.uk/uk-destinations.