Soham railway station project could cost £21.8m, report reveals

Soham Town Council's Rosemary Aitchison, Cllr James Palmer (current Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Pete

Soham Town Council's Rosemary Aitchison, Cllr James Palmer (current Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough), former council leader Peter Moakes, former MEP Geoffrey Van Orden and Tom Hunt beside the track at Soham in 2012. PHOTO: Archant Library - Credit: Archant

A new rail station to be built in Soham could cost more than £21.8m, a report has revealed.

In a budget update submitted to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority board for approval, the report states the final costing of the project could reach £21,864,769.

The Soham station project has been allocated £1.5m to deliver its current phase of works - for a full business case for the new railway station to be produced - but a further £1.7m is required in order to deliver this.

It is estimated that this phase, labelled GRIP 3, is scheduled to end in August 2019.

The report describes how the additional funding is needed to “bring confidence to the delivery of the Soham rail project in line with mayor’s ambitions and the needs of residents, businesses and other partners and agencies over the long-term direction of transport in this region.”

Subsequent costs for the remainder of the work - GRIP 4 to 8 - has been estimated to cost £21.8m but the report states this figure cannot be finalised until GRIP 3 is completed.

In a funding breakdown, the report states the estimated costs for GRIP 4 and 5 - in which designs for the railway station are produced - could reach £10m, with GRIP 6 - the construction of the station - calculated to cost £11m alone.

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A proposed location of the station indicates a direct link to Ely with connections to a number of key routes, including King’s Lynn, Cambridge, London, Norwich, Ipswich and Peterborough.

Earlier this year, the combined authority said the station could be built ahead of schedule if time saving steps were taken.

This included a potential time saving of up to two months with the “upfront and advanced approval by the combined authority board of GRIP 4 to 8 work” and a further seven months if design ran concurrently with planning.

Another one to two months could be saved by “persuading Network Rail to amend their internal approval process prior to the appointment of the GRIP 4-8 team.”

This could lead to an opening date some time in 2021 instead of the provisional date of March 2022.