Make East West Rail electric and not diesel, Lib Dems urge
- Credit: Network Rail
The Liberal Democrats candidate for Mayor of Cambridge and Peterborough has launched a campaign to stop diesel trains being used on the new East West Rail line.
Aidan Van de Weyer is campaigning for the line - which will eventually connect Cambridge with Oxford - to be electrified to reduce its impact on the environment.
He said: “Allowing diesel trains on the new East West Rail will be a disaster, both for residents along the route and for the environment.”
Last month, the government announced a £760m fund will be spent to break ground on the new railway link which could be completed by the end of the decade.
Diesel trains are set to run on the line until new hydrogen or battery technologies are developed.
But Mr Van de Weyer is urging people to sign a Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats petition which calls for the line to be zero carbon from day one, electrified along its entire length and alternative technologies like batteries or hydrogen cells used if they become viable.
He said: “Building railways just for diesel trains is a retrograde step.
You may also want to watch:
“It shows that the conservative government just isn’t serious about tackling climate change with the vigour that we need.”
While the Liberal Democrats are in favour of the overall project, it argues the work “must be done right”.
- 1 £100k homes scrapped 'with almost immediate effect' says Mayor
- 2 Dr Nik in Ely for his first day as Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor
- 3 Man suspected to have stolen '£300-400' of alcohol in store theft
- 4 Have your say on Network Rail increasing rail capacity through Ely
- 5 Woman, 78, suffers horrific injuries after e-scooter hit-and-run
- 6 Murder suspect is victim's son
- 7 Railways to royalty - a nostalgic look at Ely and Cambridgeshire
- 8 Noise warning issued amid RAF Lakenheath flight training
- 9 Widow of High Court judge, 77, charged with historical sexual abuse
- 10 Fleeing heroin dealer rams police car but they get him in the end
Mr Van de Weyer explains electrification of railway lines is a “tried and tested technology” and “a reliable and efficient way of reducing the carbon impact of transport”.
He added residents along the route are concerned about the amount of air pollution generated by the diesel trains.
“The opportunity to invest in the electrification of East West Rail needs to be seized now - not left until the line has been built, when costs will have soared,” he said.
He added: “East West Rail is a fantastic project that will enable sustainable travel between Cambridge and Oxford and points in between, but it must be done right.
“Getting people out of diesel cars and into diesel trains is madness. The government is showing that its promises on climate change are hollow."