Letters: “We unequivocally support this vital project” – Chambers of Commerce along EWR Route

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EWR map consultation

Dear editor,

We were heartened to see the National Audit Office report, whilst acknowledging the inevitable issues around delivery, also recognise the substantial benefits East West Rail will bring both regionally and nationally.

Its recent report, closely following the Chancellor’s reaffirmation of commitment to EWR in the Autumn Statement, shines a spotlight on the project’s potential to drive economic prosperity and job creation in our area.

As representatives of the four regional Chambers of Commerce which cover the East West Railway Route – for Oxfordshire, Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire – we unequivocally support this vital project.

This initiative is not just about enhancing rail connectivity; it’s about creating a brighter future for our towns and cities, and the surrounding regions, which will all benefit substantially from EWR.

It’s also about giving local people better access to jobs, education and improved healthcare, as well as to their family and friends and leisure – the things that matter in our daily lives.

The regional benefits of EWR include new and improved stations for Oxford, Bletchley, Bedford and Cambridge South. The development of infrastructure around these stations is expected to attract new commercial, retail, and hospitality businesses, thus enriching our local high streets and communities.

These developments promise to create wealth and employment opportunities, significantly enhancing our local and regional economies.

However, not only would our region reap the rewards of EWR, the whole country will also benefit from the project. EWR stands as a significant contributor to the UK’s economic landscape.

It promises to revolutionise connectivity, making transportation more efficient and cost-effective. This will bolster competitiveness in crucial sectors such as life sciences, technology, and innovation, thereby making a substantial contribution to the national economy.

Furthermore, EWR is anticipated to unlock over £100 billion in economic growth by 2050, catalysing job creation, business expansion, and housing development. This project elevates the Oxford-Cambridge corridor, positioning it to draw investment from across the globe into the UK, creating good growth for everyone.

The East West Rail project represents a unique opportunity to drive both local and national growth. Its benefits extend far beyond transportation, promising to transform our region into a dynamic and prosperous economic hub.

We urge your readers to recognise the immense potential of this project and to support its advancement.

Yours,

Justin Richardson, CEO, Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce
Paul Britton, CEO, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce
Louise Wall, CEO, Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce
Charlotte Horobin, CEO, Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce

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