London mayor, Boris Johnson, gave his support to East-West rail during the unveiling of a new science initiative in the capital on Tuesday last week.
Mr Johnson launched MedCity, a new organisation which aims to convince investors around the world to put their money behind research at Oxford, Cambridge and London universities rather than their competitors in the US.
He referred to a ‘golden triangle’ of science between the three cities and said he did not want London to be the ‘U-bend’ between Oxford and Cambridge, which both have bad transport links. He added one of MedCity’s tasks would be to push for the swift renovation of the East-West rail link between the two.
Chris Wright of the Oxon and Bucks Action Committee (OBRAC) welcomed Mr Johnson’s support and added: “OBRAC has long seen the potential in East-West Rail to avoid interchanges in London, for example for Reading and northbound trips such as Manchester and Glasgow.
“I am delighted Boris sees the potential to link Oxford, his university, and Cambridge and the potential to develop medical research.
“It also links the University of Buckingham, Open University, Milton Keynes University College and University of Bedfordshire which would be a huge benefit for their students. The East-West Rail link will be a real Varsity Line.”
The rail link, which will go through Winslow and Bicester, is set to be completed by 2019. Construction work is currently underway on the link between Oxford and Bicester.