Transforming public transport

Investment in transformational infrastructure – particularly East West Rail and mass rapid transit schemes such as those planned for Cambridgeshire and Milton Keynes, supported by high quality first last mile provision– is central to supporting the sustainable growth of the region.

Securing the right service offer is crucial, given the varied work patterns of our communities and the need to unlock opportunities for all, including those in rural areas with limited access to the public transport network.

The offer to the travelling public must be of the highest possible standard – safe, clean and high quality, and accessible to all. We need to restore confidence, not just for the short term, but the long term.

We will champion the importance of ensuring our transport system is inclusive by design, allowing people to travel with confidence and ease through well designed physical infrastructure and accessible information to help aid journey planning.

What we're doing

Updated February 2021

Our work includes...

Rail Passenger Study

Working with EEH, Network Rail has conducted a baseline assessment and review of the existing rail network and levels of service in the region, published in 2020.

This process has enabled EEH to identify and understand where significant rail connectivity gaps exist, what rail enhancements are in development or delivery and what decarbonised/non decarbonised services there are on the network.

Phase Two, due be published spring 2021, will identify and prescribe aspirational service level outcomes for priority journey pairings where analysis demonstrated stronger connectivity by rail would generate a significant return on investment.

We will use the output from this to prepare Conditional Outputs that set out the requirements of the region to be reflected in amendments to existing passenger franchises and/or in preparation for concessions.

East West Rail

East West Rail is the transformational investment for our region. Though each section of East West Rail brings with it benefits to the communities it serves, the full transformational benefit will only to be realised through the creation of the East West Main Line in full, including the link to Aylesbury and the section to the east of Cambridge.

England's Economic Heartland provides officer and administrative support to the East West Rail Consortium, which is actively developing the longer-term ambition for the East West Main Line.

This builds upon the work that the Consortium has done in the past and the framework set out within our Transport Strategy. The Consortium is working with both EEH and Transport East to ensure that the wider connectivity east of Cambridge is reflected in the work of both STBs.

The Consortium has also been supporting Oxfordshire County Council and its partners to take forward work that is looking at potential solutions for the London Road crossing at Bicester – this is a strategic infrastructure issue linked with realising the longer term potential for East West Rail.

Other work includes

  • Supporting partners as they develop proposals for mass rapid transit - including in Cambridgeshire, Milton Keynes and Hertfordshire
  • We are continuing to work with the West Coast Partnership to ensure the Heartland's requirements are reflected in discussions on the allocation of released capacity
  • We are working with promoters of proposals for Restoring Your Railway to identify strategic linkages and where these exist support those proposals when they are submitted
  • EEH will work with the our Bus Operators Association to understand the strategic opportunities arising from the National Bus Strategy, which is expected to be published later this year.

Relevant consultation responses

West Coast Partnership Timetable Consultation response January 2021.pdf

Welland Valley project letter of support November 2020.pdf

Cambridge Eastern Access Consultation November 2020.pdf

Cambridge South Station Infrastructure Enhancements November 2020.pdf

High Wycombe DRT pilot letter of support April 2020.pdf

East Midlands Rail Franchise consultation response.pdf February 2020

EEH letter to Williams Review January 2019.pdf

EEH Old Oak Common consultation response (PDF 96KB).pdf November 2017

Relevant blogs/ news

EEH welcomes East West Rail funding announcement

BLOG: "Maybe the region’s next transformational rail project begins here…"

Passenger Rail Study 'vital for improving understanding of future needs'

BLOG: Pandemic must not stop rail progress in its tracks

Relevant Forum papers

Agenda Item 4 Strategic Rail Priorities 110920.pdf

Agenda Item 8 EMR December 2020 Timetable Consultation Response 240120.pdf

Agenda Item 9 Oxfordshire Rail Corridor Study incl Annex 1-3 240120.pdf