The phase one passenger rail study into the England’s Economic Heartland area has been shared ahead of further work and a consultation into the regions transport strategy. It has identified ten areas of focus for the phase two report. Three arcs with no railway line and seven corridors with poor rail journey times are listed below.
- Northern Arc: A corridor linking North Oxfordshire with Northamptonshire and on to Peterborough.
- Central Arc: Linking Swindon and Reading through Oxford to Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich via Milton Keynes and Bedford, overlapping with the East West Rail corridor.
- Southern Arc: linking the southern edge of the Heartland north of the M25 corridor and connecting Buckinghamshire through southern Hertfordshire.
- Corridor 1-Oxfordshire and Swindon: Cross Oxfordshire links and improvements to Swindon.
- Corridor 2-Chiltern Mainline: The area covered by the two routes from London Marylebone by improving connectivity between intermediate stations on the route and towards Oxford, Banbury and the West Midlands.
- Corridor 3-East Midlands-Thames Valley: Linking Old Oak Common through the Chilterns to Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, and Northampton towards the East Midlands.
- Corridor 4-Milton Keynes and Peterborough: Two of the biggest economies and growth in the region are not linked by direct services.
- Corridor 5-East Hertfordshire-Cambridgeshire: Improving the connectivity between the towns on the West Anglia and East Coast Main Lines to Cambridge.
- Corridor 6-Peterborough-Cambridge-Stansted Airport: Improving upon the hourly service that links these three key employment, leisure and housing centres.
- Corridor 7-Peterborough-East Midlands-West Midlands: Improving upon the hourly service that links Peterborough with Leicester and Birmingham.
Source: Strategic Transport Forum 19th June 2020 Agenda Item 7: Passenger Rail Study