29th November 2017
Dear Secretary of State,
We are writing to you to welcome and endorse enthusiastically today’s publication of Connecting people: a strategic vision for rail, in which you confirm investment to restore a direct rail service from Oxford to Cambridge. In addition to this,we would like you to consider how extending this investment to include the rail corridor to Swindon would be a significant boost to a wide range of government policies.
As you may be aware, Swindon and Norwich are also associated with the the wider Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford (CaMkOx) corridor and Swindon Borough Council made a formal submission to the National Infrastructure Commission with three proposals for investment in improving rail links between Oxford and Swindon that would complement the government’s policies on house building, industry, and economic development.
The schemes we submitted were:
- To enhance capacity on the Swindon-Didcot Parkway line
- To provide a new, high-quality commuter rail service between Swindon and Oxford via Grove.
- To re-build the railway station in Swindon.
These proposals, which centre on making greater use of the rail network, would not only help open up the area east of Swindon for much-needed homes (serving both the Swindon and Oxford housing markets) but the new station would also provide the opportunity for large-scale town centre brownfield house building. This would also boost town centre regeneration and capitalise on Government investment in the electrificaiton of the railway and in new trains.
We are happy to meet you and your officials at your earliest convenience to explain in more detail how investing in enhanced rail and transport links to Swindon will help to achive the government’s policy goals.
Councillor David Renard, Leader of the Council
Councillor Oliver Donachie, Cabinet Member for the Economy and Skills
Councillor Garry Perkins, Cabinet Member for Regeneration