Cambridge England railway station

Government committee scrutinises East West Rail

This morning saw the East West Rail Project scrutinised by the government’s transport committee, following a report from the National Audit Office.

The NAO report found that the government isn’t clear yet on the ways that the project’s benefits will be achieved, as well as how it may align with other government growth plans in the region. In response to this, Huw Merriman, Minister for Rail was joined by Beth West, Chief Executive Officer of East West Rail, and officials from the Department for Transport to shed light on how strategic objectives were considered and prioritised.

Some of these objectives include:

  • Local economic growth
  • Housing development
  • Connectivity improvements along the route

Looking a government work across departments, as well as with regional and local government, the Strategic Transport Objectives inquiry will look to identify and understand the criteria involved in making decisions on major transports.

Rail Minister Huw Merriman, spoke about the NAO report, saying:

“The NAO looked at the changes in the benefit/cost ratio over time, but they didn’t provide an assessment of the projects’ value for money… but they did recognise that the whole case for East West Rail doesn’t rest on the strength of the benefit/cost ration alone.

“It actually balances itself on the region's potential for economic growth and prosperity, so we come back to the transformational value that BCR doesn’t necessarily capture.”


Image credit: iStock

Video credit: Parliament TV


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