MP Julian Huppert, who has been campaigning for years for Cambridge’s long-awaited Science Park Station, has welcomed the news that the government is committing £44 million to the project over the next three years.
The investment is outlined in the government’s National Infrastructure Plan just released and will be announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement tomorrow (Wednesday, December 3).
The plan also reveals that the government has promised to consider the Network Rail study into the new East West Rail link between Bedford to Cambridge – a vital section which forms part of the old Varsity line to Oxford – as part of its future planning from 2019 to 2024.
There will also be a further £60 million from an Access for All Fund to improve railway station platforms for disabled people or those with reduced mobility, as well as people with children, heavy luggage or shopping.
And the government taking action to ensure the development of Northstowe, which has stalled for a number of years due to the downturn in the economy, by building and selling 10,000 new homes itself.
Julian, vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on East West Rail said: “These are huge steps forward in improving rail travel for people in Cambridge and bringing the new homes that we need.
“We have got a dedicated financial commitment and timescale from the government for the Science Park station and real movement on the East West rail link, both of which I have been pushing hard to achieve.
“And we have waited a long time for the Northstowe project to get back on track to provide the houses we so desperately need.”
The plan also includes a £640 million investment in maintenance of the region’s local road network, reducing the number of potholes people have to cope with, and the £114 million for the Cycle City Ambition Scheme, announced last week, both of which will benefit Cambridge substantially.
“There is solid, long-term investment in our region in this infrastructure plan,” added Julian. “This will support growth and jobs and bring major benefits for our residents and our businesses.
“These investments are a clear sign that our government recognises the potential of Cambridge and the east of England generally to make huge contributions to the UK economy.”