The Prime Minister is urged to fast track a train station to take people directly to Addenbrooke's and the New Royal Papworth Hospital
PUBLISHED: 15:18 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:19 13 April 2018
A high profile plea has been made to the Prime Minister to fast track a train station so people can travel directly to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, the New Royal Papworth Hospital and the BioMedical campus.
James Palmer, mayor of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Authority, put the case directly to Theresa May for the proposed Cambridge South railway station to be brought forward.
He also wants to see health care delivery devolved directly to the regional authority he leads.
Mrs May was at Addenbrooke’s Hospital to announce a new £75 million package of spending for prostate cancer research for the UK.
She made time to speak with Mayor Palmer, who raised the issue of the Cambridge South Station timescale, where completion is not expected until well after 2022.
Mayor Palmer says he has a long-held ambition to bring the first trains to a new Cambridge South station by 2021 which will help the growth of the Cambridge Biomedical campus as well as serving the hospitals.
“Cambridge has a hugely exciting future but it needs to be allowed to reach its full potential,” he said.
“The lengthy timescale for a new Cambridge South Station is not good enough.
“The Biomedical Campus is already the largest health science and medical research base in Europe and has ambitions to be the biggest and best in the world.
“There are currently 17,250 people employed on the campus and this is set to rise to 21,000 by this time next year and the forecast is for 30,000 jobs by 2030.
“AstraZeneca is expected to complete the opening of its global headquarters in late 2018 or early 2019.
“The campus is going from strength to strength, which makes Cambridge South not just a vital piece of infrastructure for the region, but the country as a whole.”
To press the case with central Government further, Mayor Palmer is due to meet with Transport Minister Jo Johnson with a clear request for help speeding up the new station, among other requests.
Mayor Palmer says is disappointed at Network Rail’s approach to delivering Cambridge South and new infrastructure generally, which he says is too slow and too expensive.
He will be asking Minister Johnson directly for help in finding other ways to deliver the new station, possibly by circumventing Network Rail completely.
The Campus sees 26,500 visits every day from patients, staff, academics, scientists and visitors.