Arcadis has been named as a trading partner for the next phase of the £ 5 billion East West Rail link between Oxford and Cambridge.
The consultant was appointed by the East West Rail Company, the body set up by the UK government to plan and oversee the project to improve rail links in one of the UK’s most productive areas.
The role will see Arcadis, which works with supply chain partners RLB and KPMG, developing the business case and submitting the request for a development consent order to build the next leg of the line.
It will also include business management and cost planning, as well as procurement.
The route of the line, known as the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, includes Bicester, Bletchley and Bedford and will branch out to Milton Keynes and Aylesbury.
Although the region is home to a cluster of top universities, life science companies, and advanced manufacturing facilities, it suffers from poor rail links.
In January, the project secured public funding of £ 760million to restore direct rail services between Bicester and Bletechely for the first time since 1968.
The work will be carried out by the East West Rail Alliance, a group formed in 2015 by Network Rail, Laing O’Rourke, Atkins and Volker Rail.
The first phase of the Oxford to Bedford route, which linked Oxford and Bicester Village, was completed in 2016 by Network Rail, Chiltern Railways, Carillion and Buckingham Group.
Regional leaders are currently awaiting the government’s long-delayed Integrated Rail Plan which will define spending for railways across England.
Announced in November last year, the government promised to release the document in February.
But the delay in plans, which should also confirm whether the eastern part of HS2 from Birmingham to Leeds will continue, has raised concerns that rail upgrades may be downgraded.