AstraZeneca hails Budget pledge to accelerate new South Cambridge rail hub
Today’s Budget announcement on the ‘accelerated development’ of a new railway station for the south of the city has been warmly welcomed by AstraZeneca and other organisations on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC).
The Chancellor committed to government funding to speed up the delivery of a Cambridge South station to support the growing and nationally significant CBC.
It will serve the local community, region and visitors through connections into London Kings Cross, Liverpool Street, Stansted, Cambridge and Kings Lynn stations with subsequent links planned with East West Rail.
The need for efficient and sustainable transport is key for new organisations coming to site and to many of the staff already working at the CBC.
There are currently 26,500 visits to the campus every day from patients, academics, scientists and visitor, and there are 17,250 staff working there.
That number is set to grow when AstraZeneca, Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Abcam, among others, move into new facilities over the next two years to join the site’s thriving research and healthcare community.
Current estimates at this early stage of scheme development are that around 1.8 million passengers a year would use the station within the first few years of opening.
Dr Andy Williams, VP for Cambridge Strategy and Operations at AstraZeneca, said: “We are delighted at this news, which will bring significant and sustainable benefits to the city of Cambridge, the broader region and the UK life sciences sector.
“This follows a real team effort by the Combined Authority, Greater Cambridge Partnership, local MPs, businesses and CBC partners to support the need for this important infrastructure asset.
“The CBC will be Europe’s largest life sciences cluster, where academia, industry, research and health meet, collaborate and work to tackle some of the most significant healthcare challenges facing the world today.
“This station will enhance connectivity within the ‘’Golden Triangle’ of Cambridge, Oxford and London and internationally, which in turn will help drive growth and investment in UK science and innovation.”
Malcolm Lowe-Lauri, Executive Director at Cambridge University Health Partners, added “To maintain our position as the UK’s capital of Life Sciences, we must have the infrastructure in place to link with the East of England, other parts of the UK and the world. A railway station can help deliver this.
“A ‘destination’ station would significantly improve access for staff, visitors and patients as well as relieve the traffic congestion we see build up on the road network every day, as well as provide access to the growing housing developments in the region. It would be one of a number of projects to benefit not only the people coming to the site but also the wider community.”
And Stephen Posey, chief executive at Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As we prepare to move to the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, we know how important it is for our patients and staff to have sustainable and integrated travel options to reach our new building.
“A new railway station will significantly assist with this. It will also help with the recruitment and retention of world class staff and taking a broader view, will enable academics, visiting researchers and investors easy access to the campus to further our knowledge and tackle the key healthcare challenges of the future.”
The Cambridge Biomedical Campus is currently being expanded by 90 acres to provide the room and facilities for life sciences businesses and institutions to work together and deliver the medical breakthroughs of the future.
• cgi of Cambridge Biomedical Campus courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron