Green MEP reiterates support for East-West rail link and calls for electrified route

Keith Taylor, MEP for the South East continues to back Network Rail’s proposals for an East-West rail link between Oxfordshire and East Anglia.

In response to the Phase Three consultation stage of the project, the Green Party politician and member of the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, said:

“I reiterate my support for the East West Rail project and its plans to reestablish rail links between these regions and the wider rail network. But it needs to be built instead of, not as well as the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway. And it needs to be electrified.”

“The Government is committing that this project, which won’t be fully realised for the next decade, be built to run on 20th-century technology. Knowing all that we know about the environmental and health risks associated with diesel emissions, we cannot and should not be building a diesel railway.”

“In a response received from Network Rail following the last consultation round, economic considerations were clearly stated as the sole reason for backtracking on the electrification of the route. And in this sense, the Government is once again overly myopic. Instead of investing billions in a road-building project alongside East-West rail, I implore the Government to direct all the funds to the electrification of the route.”

“Clean, modern rail infrastructure fit for 21st Century transport needs would absolutely eliminate any need for a so-called Expressway — and it would far closer align with the sustainable transport system we so desperately need.”