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Author Topic: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion  (Read 68181 times)
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #165 on: September 11, 2018, 11:45:48 am »

And worth reminding those who are not following closely that the TWAO only covers the Western Section - the way things are heading, the Central Section could turn out to be a guided busway alongside the new road. Cue JoJo:

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In reality, I don't think many commuters will really notice the difference when they change at Bedford and board the high-quality guided bus only 15 minutes walk from the station at Tavistock Street. From the inside, a bus and a train really are very much the same thing...
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martyjon
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« Reply #166 on: September 11, 2018, 12:20:44 pm »

And worth reminding those who are not following closely that the TWAO only covers the Western Section - the way things are heading, the Central Section could turn out to be a guided busway alongside the new road. Cue JoJo:

Quote
In reality, I don't think many commuters will really notice the difference when they change at Bedford and board the high-quality guided bus only 15 minutes walk from the station at Tavistock Street. From the inside, a bus and a train really are very much the same thing...

.... like the one opened in Bristol recently, 95% of the guided part being, umm, straight.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #167 on: September 11, 2018, 12:22:36 pm »

No prizes for guessing which of the Ox-Cam Expressway, the E-W Rail and the Metrolbuts which will be fully open first and last.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #168 on: September 11, 2018, 08:59:47 pm »

Looks like a home for a few Turbos.....

Perhaps someone will knit them some nice new two-tone blue seat covers!

As regards the road proposals, I was speaking to the planning director of a client today who understands that the preferred line should be confirmed by the end of the month. Much of the northern end already exists (A421 Bletchley to Black Cat Roundabout on the A1, A428 from Caxton Gibbet at Cambourne to Cambridge, with the gap reputedly near the top of Dft/Highways England's to do list. Instead of turbo-charged PR for a "varsity" route, what is really needed is upgrading of the A34 from Winchester to Wendlebury, with proper grade-separated non-roundabout and lights connections with the M3 at the south end and the M40 at the north end - four lanes on the M40 to A43 at Ardley, upgrade the A43 roundabouts to grade separated through to Northampton, and dual the A421 from the A43 to Bletchley - job done, and much more delivered for other parts of the country.

Of course, this should be after funds are found to electrify Didcot to Bedford....     
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 09:21:03 pm by eightonedee » Logged
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« Reply #169 on: September 12, 2018, 06:28:44 am »

And worth reminding those who are not following closely that the TWAO only covers the Western Section - the way things are heading, the Central Section could turn out to be a guided busway alongside the new road. Cue JoJo:

Quote
In reality, I don't think many commuters will really notice the difference when they change at Bedford and board the high-quality guided bus only 15 minutes walk from the station at Tavistock Street. From the inside, a bus and a train really are very much the same thing...

I sense that JoJo is regular and hardened rail and bus user   Roll Eyes

Looks like a home for a few Turbos.....

Perhaps someone will knit them some nice new two-tone blue seat covers!

As regards the road proposals, I was speaking to the planning director of a client today who understands that the preferred line should be confirmed by the end of the month. Much of the northern end already exists (A421 Bletchley to Black Cat Roundabout on the A1, A428 from Caxton Gibbet at Cambourne to Cambridge, with the gap reputedly near the top of Dft/Highways England's to do list. Instead of turbo-charged PR for a "varsity" route, what is really needed is upgrading of the A34 from Winchester to Wendlebury, with proper grade-separated non-roundabout and lights connections with the M3 at the south end and the M40 at the north end - four lanes on the M40 to A43 at Ardley, upgrade the A43 roundabouts to grade separated through to Northampton, and dual the A421 from the A43 to Bletchley - job done, and much more delivered for other parts of the country.

Of course, this should be after funds are found to electrify Didcot to Bedford....    

The A34 should be re-converted to its former type of transport ………………. with a grade separated junction at Didcot, West of Newbury and Winchester  Grin 

Now that would fit in nicely with EW Rail especially if both were electrified
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Lee
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« Reply #170 on: September 12, 2018, 10:43:55 am »

As regards the road proposals, I was speaking to the planning director of a client today who understands that the preferred line should be confirmed by the end of the month.

Published today:

Corridor B chosen for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/route-announced-to-unlock-full-potential-of-englands-economic-heartland

Written statement to Parliament - https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/oxford-to-cambridge-expressway-road-scheme-update

Quote from: Written statement to Parliament
England’s road network is a huge national asset and a cornerstone of our present and future economic prosperity. Across the country the government is investing in this network, in order to open up new opportunities, improve productivity and connect people and businesses.

As part of this, after considerable consultation and review, the government is announcing today (12 September 2018) the preferred corridor for the new Oxford-Cambridge Expressway, accepting the recommendations of Highways England.

The expressway, which fills a major gap in the national road network, will work together with the proposed East West Rail link to revolutionise east-west connectivity. In so doing, it will help unlock the commercial development of up to one million new homes.

The expressway is projected to take up to 40 minutes off the journey between the A34 south of Oxford and the M1, so that hundreds of thousands of people will be brought within reach of high quality jobs in centres of rapid growth such as Oxford Science Park. The preferred corridor identified today runs alongside the planned route of East West Rail, so that consumers have a variety of road and rail travel options.

This decision determines the broad area within which the road will be developed: the process of designing a specific route will now get under way, involving extensive further consultation with local people to find the best available options. Members of the public will be able to comment on the full set of front-running designs in a public consultation next year, and the road is on schedule to be open to traffic by 2030.

The choice of this corridor means that the government has ruled out construction in the area of the Otmoor nature reserve, underlining its desire to protect the natural environment.

The government also recognises that no one corridor can support every proposed development across the area. It is therefore commissioning England’s economic heartland to carry out a study of how to provide better connectivity across the wider area, so that places outside of the preferred corridor enjoy the benefits of growth as far as possible.

Between 2015 and 2021 the government is investing £15 billion to improve the UK’s busiest roads. Already, it has opened the first all-motorway link from Newcastle to London; and after 45 years without change the Department for Transport is working with Transport for the North to develop 3 upgrades to capacity across the Pennines.

The government is also spending billions to transform connectivity in the south west with the dualling of the A303 and A30, and to create better access to and from our ports and airports through projects such as the Lower Thames Crossing and upgrade of the A14 link between the Midlands and Felixstowe.

The common theme linking all these projects is the need to create and upgrade the UK’s infrastructure. So too it is here with the new Oxford-Cambridge expressway.

Oxford to Cambridge expressway strategic study: strategic outline business case - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oxford-to-cambridge-expressway-strategic-study-strategic-outline-business-case

Strategic outline business case for the Oxford to Cambridge expressway added to Road Investment strategy - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/road-investment-strategy-post-2020
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« Reply #171 on: September 12, 2018, 10:56:20 am »

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Building the new link close to the east/west rail link will also offer more options for the commercial development of up to 1 million new homes, in line with proposals by the National Infrastructure Commission, and encourage more people to travel by train rather than by cars.
Building a new road is such a good way to encourage people to travel by train.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #172 on: September 12, 2018, 10:58:19 am »

Hopefully, those sat in the likely slow traffic will be able to at least see the trains whizzing past them!
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #173 on: September 12, 2018, 11:07:51 am »

Forgive me if I've missed something - I haven't made time to read all the documents - but the rather broad-brush indication shown here seems to peter out west of Bedford, presumably connecting with the A421... does this suggest that the 'Central Section' of the rail link might follow the A428, i.e. a route some 10km to the north of the old alignment through Sandy?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #174 on: September 12, 2018, 11:32:03 am »

I think Sandy is the preferred route? But they're still working on the detail.....
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eightonedee
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« Reply #175 on: September 12, 2018, 10:38:36 pm »

No - the section of the road east from Bedford is the A421/A1/A428 route, just missing the Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet section - see my post yesterday
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #176 on: September 13, 2018, 11:09:34 am »

To my simple way of looking at things, if the planned Oxford-Cambridge road is to be routed alongside the existing East-West rail trackbed between Oxford and Bedford then there is a logic in routing the central section of the rail link alongside the A428 - an established corridor. EWR state that the preferred route is through Sandy, but it's hard to see the new line following the old route given how built-up it is - the trackbed is thoroughly built-over in both Sandy and Potton, not to mention the Mullard Observatory.

As an aside, we can be thankful that this scheme didn't happen 30 years ago - you can be fairly sure they would have grabbed a fair chunk of the trackbed between Oxford and Bedford for the new road...
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eightonedee
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« Reply #177 on: September 13, 2018, 10:28:25 pm »

....and the last part of the old Bedford - Cambridge Line has been converted to a guided busway running out to the Trumpington park and ride.

I have heard rumours of using the A428 corridor as a possible rail corridor. There's quite a lot of land potentially available, as much of the alignment of the old single carriageway A428 (former A45 for those old enough to remember when it was the Felixstowe to Birmingham trunk road) has been left when the dualling has changed the alignment of the road. However the former alignment is being used for strategic cycle routes out to Cambourne, and as a route for buses to connect Cambridge with Cambourne, other possible new settlements west of Cambridge and St Neots.

A rail link along this route really would be an example of forward thinking infrastructure provision. But Cambridgeshire is the spiritual home of the guided busway, so I expect there may not be local political/council bureaucratic support.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #178 on: September 14, 2018, 10:11:17 am »

... does this suggest that the 'Central Section' of the rail link might follow the A428, i.e. a route some 10km to the north of the old alignment through Sandy?

No - the section of the road east from Bedford is the A421/A1/A428 route, just missing the Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet section - see my post yesterday

talking rail route here
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eightonedee
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« Reply #179 on: September 14, 2018, 09:53:52 pm »

beg pardon.....! Grin
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