Cambridgeshire County Council has announced plans to build a new railway station, in addition to the one already in use on Station Road in the south of the city.
The council believes that the new station, which would be built in Chesterton Sidings, would serve the needs of residents from Huntingdon and north Cambridge, as they would not have to travel through the city centre in order to access the railway. It will be on the railway line between Cambridge and Ely, and served by direct trains from London, Norwich and King’s Lynn.
The proposals to build the station, which is planned to open in 2015, are still dependent on the views of local residents. Meetings between the council and possible users of the new service are due to take place from 14 November at the Shirley Centre on Nuffield Road, before finishing at midday on 21 November at Cambridge Science Park, where plans of the station can be viewed and discussed. The station is expected to provide a huge boost for businesses nearby, such as the St. John’s Innovation Centre and the Science Park, creating more employment opportunities for the area. The council is also encouraging completion of an online questionnaire, to find out the opinions of people living in Cambridge nearby the proposed station.
Initial plans reveal that the station will have a 450-space car park, a taxi and drop-off area and an area for bicycle storage and parking. The planning applications will be submitted by the council next spring, with a view to starting construction in summer 2014. The site of the station is closest to Girton College, which is two miles away from the Science Park, followed by Fitzwilliam and Churchill Colleges.
However, Adam Patel, a second-year languages student at Girton, said that the construction of a new station would not make much difference to him. He explained that he usually cycles to the station near Hills Road, and added, “the nature of the roads in and around Cambridge mean that you would have to travel into the city centre on the way to the new station from Girton”, suggesting that students at colleges such as Murray Edwards and Churchill would not have a particular advantage in terms of distance when travelling to the new railway station.
Emily Handley – News Reporter