MPs Iain Stewart and Richard Fuller joined rail campaigners for a rally and walk between Bedford’s Priory Country Park and Sandy on Saturday 29th June to show their support for the re-introduction of a rail link between Bedford and Cambridge.
The event was organised by Rail Future and Campaign for Better Transport who are campaigning for a new railway to connect Bedford and Cambridge. This follows the Government giving the go-ahead for the re-opening of the East West Rail link between Oxford and Bedford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes which is due to re-open for train services in December 2017.
The Bedford to Cambridge section of the former Varsity Line between Oxford and Cambridge via Bletchley and Bedford closed to passenger services in 1967. Since then, sections of track have been dismantled and the land developed for other purposes.
Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South said:
“The Western section between Oxford, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury is forecast to create 12,000 jobs in the region. I am a strong supporter of extending it eastwards from Bedford towards Cambridge and into East Anglia where many more jobs would be generated. And it would link the country’s main science & research centres.’
Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford said:
“What we want to see now is the additional link from Bedford connected to Cambridge. Today marks how important that it to the people of Bedford and East Anglia. We now want to see the Government take the next step and make that link’.
The East West Rail Consortium of local authorities from East Anglia to Oxfordshire and strategic partners successfully made the case for the re-opening of Oxford to Bedford section of the former “Varsity Line” with a spur between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury.
The Consortium is now developing a case for a railway between Bedford and Cambridge for services to connect East Anglia with Central and Southern England and national mainline services that will best serve future transport requirements for economic and social benefit within the region and beyond.